Sewage leak caused stink in Harpenden

Sewage water leaked in to a nearby car park

Sewage water leaked in to a nearby car park - Credit: Archant

A blocked drain has caused quite a stink in Harpenden after sewage overflowed twice in five days.

A stream of water clogged with toilet excrements started near a car park behind Bowers Parade, but soon leaked down to the Station Road junction.

Two manholes overflowed with the contaminated water on Friday, October 10, and then again in the early hours of Monday .

Sonia Duffy, owner of Perry Florists, said: “It was streaming on to the footpath and people were walking not knowing what they were walking in.

“Mothers and children were going through it; my friend saw one child even drop a book in it and pick it up again.

“We know people who live nearby with a young baby and they were unable to come out of their home because the sewage was that deep outside. It’s disgusting.

“The car park was inches deep in sewage water, and even though it has been drained, the stink is absolutely foul and you still have to walk through left over toilet paper.”

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A shop worker, who also works near by, said: “It had all come down the hill on Station Road and congealed at the bottom.

“At least half of the car park we use was blocked.

“We couldn’t park as it was like a full lake - a good five or six cars worth.”

It wasn’t until Tuesday that Thames Water cleared the mess up. “There was a horrible sludge left after they drained the water,” the shop worker added.

Thames Water worked to clear the blocked drains, which had become clogged with items that are not safe for sewers; like nappies and sanitary products.

A spokesman for Thames Water said: “It was a blockage in the sewer pipe caused by the build-up of cooking fat, wet wipes and other items which should never be put down drains and toilets.

“This is a £1 million a month problem for us, with the clear message to ‘Bin it – don’t block it’.

“The pipe is now flowing as it should after we cleared out the mess, and we will fully clean-up the area above ground tomorrow [Wednesday].”