RESIDENTS in St Ives say they remain at risk of sewage flooding their homes and gardens while Anglian Water and the county council argue over who is responsible for improving the drainage. People living in bungalows in parts of St Audrey s Lane and Warren
RESIDENTS in St Ives say they remain at risk of sewage flooding their homes and gardens while Anglian Water and the county council argue over who is responsible for improving the drainage.
People living in bungalows in parts of St Audrey's Lane and Warren Road claim the sewerage system is overwhelmed by surface water during prolonged heavy rainfall, flooding their gardens and sometimes their ground-floor bathrooms and preventing their flushing their toilets.
In a petition aimed at Huntingdonshire District Council - which attracted only half the number of signatures needed for consideration by the full council - they say the problems have been made worse by a development of 120 homes across St Audrey's Lane a decade ago.
The residents have the backing of HDC's vice-chairman, Councillor John Davies, who has persuaded one of the council's scrutiny panels to consider the petition.
"It has been quite a saga of problems," he told The Hunts Post. "There have been occasions when the manholes have been lifted and residents have ended up with sewage in their gardens.
"It happens every time there is considerable rain, as there has been several times this winter. We want to see whether HDC has any ideas and have also written to Anglian Water.
"The plight of residents who are unable to flush their toilets in inclement times is totally unacceptable in the centre of St Ives and in the 21st century."
Cllr Davies said that a campaign he led some years ago following similar problems on the nearby Fairfields estate had prompted remedial action.
But Cambridgeshire County Council, which as highway authority is responsible for the surface water drains, and Anglian Water, which owns the foul sewerage system,
both say the other is responsible for any improvements.
A spokesman for CCC said: "It's Anglian Water's responsibility to ensure its foul sewerage system is able to cope in all weather circumstances and we expect them to be able to resolve this problem."
Collette Nicholls, of Anglian Water, retorted: "We are responsible for taking away waste water from properties in St Audrey's Lane. But in times of extremely heavy rainfall the surface water has infiltrated into our sewers and they have been overwhelmed. We are assessing the situation and the long-term implications of this for our network.
"In the event that surface water infiltrates the system, the sewer can take six times the average dry-weather flow. Anglian Water is looking at the ability of its sewers to cope with this infiltration, but the question of dispersal of surface of water, which we are not responsible for, needs to be examined also."
The panel was due to consider the issue last evening (Tuesday) as The Hunts Post went to press.