Pensioners spent 12 days of Christmas sweeping sewage

Two Chichester pensioners spent 12 days of Christmas cleaning up sewage after a leak at their home.

Friday, 10th January 2020, 4:36 pm
Mr Fallick and the sewage. SR20010801

Sewage began pumping out the manholes in Brian Fallick’s garden from December 19 through to New Year’s Eve.

“It was coming out of manhole covers and around the back door of the garage which I had to clean up three to four times a day," he said.

The 84-year-old said he was spending more than an hour-and-a-half each day dealing with the less-than-festive fiasco as he scooped and swept the mess on his property.

He added: “I wanted a clean up team to come out and I rang every day — they said they would ring me back but they never did.

“No one called me back at all.

“It has got a sewage smell coming through with it. In the morning when everyone was getting up paper and rags and things but I swept it away.

“I was fuming.”

What Brian describes as ‘the black muck’ in his garden grew to be eight square metres and two inches thick. Brian lives with his wife who he said is ‘not very pleased at all’.

“Southern Water should be ashamed for not sorting it out earlier on.”

After an engineer finally arrived, Brian said he told the man The Observer would be covering the story and ‘within half an hour I had the main man here’.

A spokesman for Southern Water said: “We’re very sorry that our response to Mr Fallick’s problems has been so slow. Mr Fallick has been very patient but is understandably angry – there is no doubt he has been let down by us.

"There was a failure in the computer system that relays jobs from us to our partners and neither side immediately realised that tasks weren’t being transferred.

"We are looking into this failure and how such breakdowns in communications can be avoided in the future.

"Our area manager visited Mr Fallick on Tuesday to extend our apologies and will be returning to ensure that the clean-up is satisfactory.”