Raw sewage floating in roads and gardens in Hunts village prompts petition

Flood water remains in Hemingford Grey, two months after the December 23 storms last year.

Flood water remains in Hemingford Grey, two months after the December 23 storms last year. - Credit: Phil McGuire

Hazardous sewage water overflowed onto footpaths in a village near Huntingdon with residents facing “significant health risks” and unable to flush toilets. 

Angry villagers in Hemingford Grey launched a campaign calling on Anglian Water to overhaul the local sewage infrastructure and increase the number of tankers.

More than 360 residents have signed a petition after the raw sewage gushed out of manholes and flooded roads and gardens up to the depth of one foot deep at Christmas. 

It meant residents in St Ives Road had to trudge through the polluted water to leave their homes.

Phil McGuire, who has lived in the village for 15 years, said it was the fourth time sewage water had flooded his house in recent years. 

“There is a large pile of excrement that we have to wade through at the front of the house,” Mr McGuire explained. 

“Residents are unable to use toilets, showers and baths, sometimes for weeks on end. 

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“It’s an absolute nightmare as you’re having to change your shoes at the front door. 

“I’ve even been warning people in the street who may have children splashing in it that it's not just flood water. 

“Raw sewage is a hazard, and there are plenty of significant health risks that can come from it let alone the fact we are currently in the coronavirus crisis too.” 

Mr McGuire argued it wasn’t due to the Christmas flooding across the county, but the fact that the nearby pumping station was  “overwhelmed”. 

He continued: “In our petition we have made it clear that it's not a flooding issue and we need immediate action taken. 

 “Our sewage infrastructure is unfit for purpose.” 

In correspondence sent to Mr McGuire from Anglian Water, chief executive Peter Simpson said they had faced “significant challenges with the volume of floodwater inundating the sewerage network”. 

“We have been closely monitoring our pumping stations throughout the incident and believe the system is starting to recover with the support of the tanker,” the letter read. 

“The service issues and flooding reported to us have now been resolved so we do not feel, at this time, that additional tankering is required.” 

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