Property owners in Great Bridge, Virginia are reporting human waste overflow along Market Place. Water systems nearby have been impacted thanks to the overflow from drainage systems. The issue, first appearing in early 2017, was promptly corrected by engineers who worked to clear sewer and drainage systems.
One woman said waste water started to overflow into her shower and sink.
The problem is a recurring one with residents stating that the problem happened 5 times in a matter of 12 months. The apparent issues required manhole lining and repair, among several other repairs by engineers.
Severn Trent Water is responsible for the sewer and water in the area. The company has been out to correct the issue several times with residents stating that they clean up the mess but fail to correct the issue permanently.
“I have been unable to use my toilet, shower or washing machine. When I turn on the washer, wastewater comes up the sink. If I flush the toilet, water comes up and out the shower,” claims one resident.
Residents are fed up stating that they can no longer live like this. Residents are often forced to travel to their friends’ or family’s homes to bathe.
Residents have also reported feeling ill since the sewage started appearing. Businesses in the area are also suffering economic loses as customers choose to take their business elsewhere rather than deal with the sewage.
Some businesses have had to close their doors for several days at a time because sewage was backing up into their toilets and sinks. An eye care facility has lost significant business with the owner stating that their entire shop smells like sewage.
Fat blocking the drains are being blamed for the backed-up systems.
Cleaning crews dispatched to clean up the sewage state that they can’t clear all of the fat blocking the sewer system. Crews have also been slow to respond to the issue. Engineers have been dispatched to correct the issue with Severn Trent claiming that the issue is mostly cleared up.
Severn Trent claims that they’ve only been called out twice to clear up sewage in the past two years. Sewage was overflowing from a manhole cover at one home. The company claims that their partner Amey worked to unblock the pipes and clear up the issue causing overflow.
Grease, oil, and fat that is put down kitchen drains are the cause of the problem. The liquids solidify in the pipes causing them to become blocked. The company reminds all residents not to put oil and grease down the drains.
Severn Trent states that 93% of blockages are now being caused by discarded wipes. The firm states that the UK spends £100 million annually in unblocking sewers. The utility company claims that there are 300,000 blockages each year due to the baby wipes and flushable wipes.
The problem, coupled with the dumping of oil and grease down the drain, are causing sewer systems in the United Kingdom to become blocked and not adequately allow for drainage. Sewer systems are designed to handle items that break down in water, not baby wipes which remain in the system.