Harpenden church car park flooded with sewage

All Saints Church in Harpenden.

All Saints Church in Harpenden. - Credit: Archant

A church in Harpenden was forced to cancel its children’s groups after the car park was flooded with sewage.

Rev'd Linda Williams.

Rev'd Linda Williams. - Credit: Archant

Sewage flooding had been a regular occurrence at All Saints Church in Station Road until 2015, when Thames Water mended the main sewer all the way to the sewage plant.

Despite the repairs, the car park became flooded with sewage in the evening on Tuesday, May 9, making it unusable for members of the congregation.

Rev’d Linda Williams, of All Saints Church, said: “They [Thames Water] made a marvellous job of it but about eight o’clock on Tuesday evening we were told by some very kind parishioners that we had sewage running across the car park. We haven’t had that for a long time.”

Thames Water worked through the night to try and deal with the sewage, having to bring along bigger appliances after they initially struggled to locate the blockage.

Rev’d Williams said: “Thames Water attended inside of an hour and a half. They are aware of the previous problem and they pull out all the stops.

“We have back to back children’s groups from 8am to 8pm on Wednesdays. Thames Water attended all of Tuesday night to try to make it clear and to sanitise and disinfect it by Wednesday morning.”

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Although the blockage was cleared by Wednesday morning, for health and safety reasons all of the children’s groups were cancelled on Wednesday as the car park remained closed.

Rev’d Williams said: “It didn’t affect our building; it didn’t affect the church hall at all. The main sewer is located over the height of the church. If the sewer is blocked the levels rise and then it comes back down to the lowest possible place that it can go, but that happens to be All Saints.”

The car park was reopened on Thursday, May 11.