New sewage fears as more homes are planned in Midhurst

A MIDHURST man who has suffered 12 years of raw sewage pouring onto his terrace in heavy rain, fears life could get worse with planned new development.

Monday, 1st February 2016, 3:01 pm
Updated Monday, 1st February 2016, 3:05 pm
The Frazer Nash site where development is planned

“It’s very stressful,” said Geoff Oram who lives in Bepton Road. “When I hear torrential rain in the middle of the night I have to get up and check things out with a torch.”

He has had sandbags outside his back door for seven years to avoid the risk of raw sewage and water getting into his home: “I just can’t risk taking them away,” he said.

Geoff and Lyn Oram have lived in Bepton Road for 14 years.

Their nightmare began about a year after they arrived when they discovered in prolonged heavy rain, the waterpipe in the middle of Bepton Road began to back up.

“It goes to the first manhole on our property, then the second and then up through the manhole cover in the back garden, pouring raw sewage onto our terrace.

“The first sign of trouble is when we hear gurgling in the downstairs loo. It’s quite frightening waiting to see what will happen next.”

He has made repeated pleas to Southern Water for help: “The problem has got worse with more and more residential accommodation appearing along this road. The pipe work infrastructure is just not man enough to cope with it all.”

And he fears it wold be exacerbated by plans for new flats and shops at the former Frazer Nash site.

“I must have spoken to Southern Water a dozen times asking them to do something. The situation is not going to improve until they renew the pipe. It is a very frustrating and annoying situation and I can’t see any end to it,” said Geoff. “I think it is going to just get worse with new development.”

A spokesman for Southern Water said: ““We would like to apologise to Mr Oram for this issue and can assure him we will be investigating to find a resolution.

“We will begin by carrying out a large scale CCTV survey of the immediate area - in the sewers - to identify any potential causes.

“To reassure Mr Oram, before building work can begin on new developments, Southern Water has to carry out a full assessment of our existing sewer system to ensure there is sufficient capacity – amongst other things.

“However, Southern Water has no statutory power to object to development plans. Our role is to provide water and sewerage infrastructure to serve new developments and work with developers to achieve this.”

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