‘Collapsed’ sewer leaves estate residents dealing with raw sewage stench for a month

Two broken sewers on an estate have left about 30 families to suffer the stench of raw sewage for a month.

One sewer is said to have “collapsed,” while another “burst,” leaving residents on the 65-year-old Sydenham Hill Estate to wear masks and place wet towels in the air vents to prevent the stink.

Raw sewage is streaming from the burst sewer to the entrance at Homildon House. Andrew Miles, a resident there, said the stench was “soul destroying,” and that he was “going to explode” over the length of time it was taking to fix.

The sewage is creating a bog outside the blocks on Sydenham Hill Estate (Picture: Andrew Miles)

“It’s absolutely terrible,” he said. “We have to block everything to stop the smell. I’ve been putting damp kitchen roll in the vents but they have to be replaced every day, and taking them out is just disgusting.

“I’m five storeys up so it must be terrible for people on the ground floor. Even the postman has been complaining about it.”

The land is leased by housing association L&Q and residents said they had been complaining about the sewage for four weeks.

Mr Miles said: “It just takes days and days and days for anything to happen. It needs to happen immediately. They are so slow to deal with something as serious as raw sewage.

“I’m so frustrated and wound up. They say it takes eight working days for a response to anything.”

A surveyor allegedly visited the site and said one of the sewers under the estate had collapsed.

It is believed roots from a number of trees on the estate may have damaged the sewers.

David Lewis, executive group director of property services at L&Q, said: “L&Q is aware of the leak and have maintenance teams on site working to resolve the situation

“We are also in regular contact with affected residents. The blockage has been caused by unsuitable items being discarded into the drains, such as nappies and blocks of wood.

“We are not aware of any long-term sewage leak.

“We take resident welfare seriously and we apologise for the distress and inconvenience that this incident may have caused.

“Residents can be reassured that our maintenance team will remain on site to monitor the situation.”

Pictured top: Andrew Miles outside his block on Sydenham Hill Estate (Picture: Andrew Miles)

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