Sewerage wrangle causes a stink

PUBLISHED: 17:25 14 June 2006 | UPDATED: 09:26 24 May 2010

SEWERS which serve hundreds homes in Portishead are still the responsibility of a housing developer rather than a water company - seven years after the first families moved in. Wessex Water has yet to adopt the sewerage system on The Vale from Persimmon S

SEWERS which serve hundreds homes in Portishead are still the responsibility of a housing developer rather than a water company - seven years after the first families moved in.Wessex Water has yet to adopt the sewerage system on The Vale from Persimmon Special Projects Western.The situation came to light after Geoff and Joanne Bowers, of Holmlea, noticed that the water in their downstairs toilet had disappeared.The couple then smelt sewage when they opened their dishwasher, their toilet looked as if it was going to overflow, and they could see and smell stinking water in the plughole of their shower.The Bowers, who have two children aged under eight, spent a whole Saturday trying to find out who was responsible for sorting the situation out.Twelve hours later, the problem was traced to a nearby pumping station which Persimmon Special Projects Western is responsible for, along with the rest of The Vale's sewerage network, seven years after the first of the estate's 489 homes on The Vale were occupied.Geoff, a 40-year-old estate agent, said: "It turned out other properties apart from ours were also experiencing drainage problems."The engineers who traced the problem to the pumping station said sewage was backing up throughout The Vale."A spokesman for Wessex Water said: "We helped resolve this problem free of charge as a goodwill gesture, although the sewers and pumping station on the estate are still the responsibility of the developer."A developer has to provide a network that we are satisfied with before we will adopt it and take it over. "This has not yet happened."A spokesman for Persimmon Special Projects Western said: "A warning light alerts Wessex Water if the pumping system breaks down and they should contact Persimmon Special Projects Western who will fix the problem within 24 hours."In this case, the call was never made.

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