Call for drains survey after flooding

Roger Brazier shows some of the damage to the walls and floor of the conservatory in his house

Roger Brazier shows some of the damage to the walls and floor of the conservatory in his house

First published in News Herald Series: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter covering Abingdon and Wantage, South Oxford and Kennington. Call me on 01865 425431

A THOROUGH survey of drains is needed to stop homes in Wantage being flooded, it was warned last night.

The calls came after a Stockham Park couple won a £12,000 insurance payout after their kitchen was wrecked by flooding caused by a blocked drain.

Two months ago, a storm drain which backs on to Roger and Angela Brazier’s garden overflowed and within minutes their ground floor was completely flooded.

They phoned Thames Water four times but each time workmen arrived they had either brought the wrong tools or could not fix the drain.

Now their insurance company is paying out £12,000 for a new kitchen, new carpets and new units across their ground floor.

Mrs Brazier, 70, said: “It has been horrible, we have been living like this for weeks. We would call Thames Water and then a week would go by with nothing.

“It has been a complete nightmare. They have treated us really rough.”

The storm drain only overflowed after heavy rainfall.

Mrs Brazier added: “We set alarm clocks in the night to check it was not raining, as the flooding could happen so fast.”

The Braziers will have to buy a new display cabinet, a sideboard and computer desk, and the front room walls and door will have to be replaced.

Last Wednesday Thames Water engineers finally diagnosed the problem as a blockage caused by six feet of tangled roots which took two people to carry away.

Now Wantage councillor Jenny Hannaby has called for a complete survey of drains in the Stockham Park area to ensure the problem does not recur.

She said she wanted to work with Stockham Park housing association Sovereign Vale to survey the 46-year old drainage system.

Mrs Hannaby said: “We need to have a good survey of all draining on the Stockham Park estate.”

A spokesperson for Sovereign Vale said: “There are ongoing localised issues with the drains in Stockham Park, and our response teams are always very quick to clear them when they become blocked so as to minimise the impact on residents.

“We are aware of the impact that this has on this part of Stockham Park and are currently looking at longer-term solutions to this problem.”

A spokesman for Thames Water said: “We are very sorry for the amount of time it has taken to get this problem sorted.

“Clearly this should have been done sooner and we will try harder to be better in future.”

Comments (1)

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7:36am Fri 7 Sep 12

Victor's_friend says...

No, Councillor Hannaby, the priority is not to waste time doing a costly survey of Stockham Park because one property gets flooded due to a blocked storm drain.

The major solution is to prevent flooding is for Thames Water to monitor drains/pipes that frequently get blocked, especially where tree roots ingress, and to carry out a comprehensive drain clearance/maintenanc
e program and not just wait for telephones calls from the public. This includes water pipe leaks. Of course sudden downpours may escalate flooding but then if the system was cleared the problem becomes less of a problem.

The housing association should also do likewise, so not pay for an expensive survey if not much gets done afterwards. Also, surely if these pipes/drains have been existance for quite some time why don't people already know about this information hence a survey is repeated the task.

Property owners have their own duty of care to check their own drains/pipes to ensure that they are not locked. They should not use them for anything other than what they were intended for, i.e. not nappies, cotton buds....
No, Councillor Hannaby, the priority is not to waste time doing a costly survey of Stockham Park because one property gets flooded due to a blocked storm drain. The major solution is to prevent flooding is for Thames Water to monitor drains/pipes that frequently get blocked, especially where tree roots ingress, and to carry out a comprehensive drain clearance/maintenanc e program and not just wait for telephones calls from the public. This includes water pipe leaks. Of course sudden downpours may escalate flooding but then if the system was cleared the problem becomes less of a problem. The housing association should also do likewise, so not pay for an expensive survey if not much gets done afterwards. Also, surely if these pipes/drains have been existance for quite some time why don't people already know about this information hence a survey is repeated the task. Property owners have their own duty of care to check their own drains/pipes to ensure that they are not locked. They should not use them for anything other than what they were intended for, i.e. not nappies, cotton buds.... Victor's_friend
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