Wigan residents endure raw sewage flowing down their street for THREE days

The waste spewed out of grids and flooded Sycamore Avenue in Hindley Green, but there is anger at United Utilities for the delay in sorting out the problem

Friday, 28th May 2021, 3:13 pm
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 3:14 pm
Sewage in Sycamore Avenue, Hindley Green

A stream of sewage forced residents to kick up a stink after it was left flowing down their street for 72 hours.

The waste spewed out of grids and flooded Sycamore Avenue in Hindley Green, leaving people having to drive and walk through the contaminated water.

Sewage, toilet paper and sanitary products were coming up through the grids and flooding in the streets over the weekend.

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Sewage on the road

Despite the problem being reported to United Utilities last Friday, engineers from the company only attended on Monday afternoon.

Angry locals now want answers as to why it took so long to resolve an “obvious health and safety situation”.

Coun John Vickers, who represents the area on Wigan Council, said: “I was contacted by residents on Thursday evening who were complaining of sewage, toilet paper and feminine hygiene products coming up through the grids and flooding in the street.

“Children play here, there is a set of goal posts right in the middle of the filthy water.

Coun Vickers on Sycamore Avenue, Hindley Green

“I went round Friday morning and immediately contacted a Wigan Council engineer who attended on site within the hour, confirming it was United Utilities’ responsibility and contacted them straight away.”

Coun Vickers said he called United Utilities repeatedly over the weekend, only to be “fobbed off” with assurances of return phone calls that never came.

He was also told that work would be added to other jobs being done in the Hindley Green postcode.

He added: “However, on Sunday two United Utilities wagons were working in Hindley Green but Sycamore Avenue was not done.

“After informing them of this on Monday I finally got a call back to let me know they were going to the job that day. The conditions these residents have had to tolerate wouldn’t be acceptable in a third world country but apparently is not a priority for United Utilities.”

A spokesman for United Utilities apologised that its engineers were not able to get to Sycamore Avenue before Monday and for the issues residents faced.

They blamed a “very high number of calls” for the delay due to the “recent continuous heavy rain”.

They said: “This was a very unpleasant situation for people in Hindley Green and we are very sorry we could not get there sooner.

“The recent continuous heavy rain meant our engineering teams were dealing with very high numbers of calls with incidents ranging from internal flooding, through to highway flooding and restricted toilets.

“With such a wide range and volume of issues we tried to prioritise our response to deal with the most serious first, such as internal flooding.

“On a more positive note, there is no history of problems with the sewers at this location and having cleared a rag blockage, we thoroughly disinfected the area and CCTVed the pipes. We can confirm that there is no ongoing problem and it should not recur.”

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