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'We're really sorry': Severn Trent apologises after lengthy sewage leak in Bishop's Castle

South Shropshire | News | Published:

Severn Trent has apologised for the length of time it took to fix a sewage leak in the centre of Bishop's Castle.

Shopkeepers and residents have complained of a nasty stench and concerns over hygiene after the High Street that runs through the centre of the town was flooded with foul water on Friday afternoon.

Some residents have said the situation took too long to deal with as repairs continued across the weekend and the road was still not completely clean at the start of this week.

The problems started with a blocked pipe on Friday that led to an overflowing manhole at the top end of town, with sewage water flowing past the town hall and down the hill.

Bishop's Castle mayor Jane Carroll said the situation had been handled badly with a clean up team only arriving 24 hours after the problem had started, with visitors to the town on Friday evening walking and driving through the affected area.

Some shops and venues had to close due to hygiene fears but barriers were only put up on Sunday as work continued, she said.

Jonny Keeley, Shropshire councillor for Bishop's Castle, also expressed concerns on Friday evening, issuing a statement on his facebook page saying: "Avoid the High Street, there's sewage on the street. It is apparently being disinfected but I doubt they are going to track down all the people who have been driving and walking through it."

On Monday, former mayor Karen Bavastock said it had still not been fully cleaned up.

She said: "It is now well beyond a joke. A few hours of inconvenience cannot be helped as we all know that accidents and breakdowns happen – but three days with potentially hazardous materials on the High Street is an absolute disgrace."

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Ria Gaffney, speaking for Severn Trent, said the utility company would be arranging so that there was no trace left of the sewage.

She said: "We're really sorry for the inconvenience that was caused in Bishop's Castle over the weekend.

"Our engineers were called out to a blocked sewer and as they were unblocking the pipe some of the sewage flooded into the road.

"A team attended on Saturday to clean this up and returned on Sunday to finish off. The pipe is now clear and we're really sorry that it took so long to get everything back to normal.

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"We have arranged for a road sweeper to come and make sure no traces of the flooding is left.

"We found that the initial blockage had been caused by a build-up of wipes and other sanitary items in the pipe.

"We'd remind all our customers to only ever flush the three ps – pee, poo and paper – to help us keep the sewers clear."

Bishop's Castle Town Council has added the incident to the agenda for their meeting on April 18 to consider whether or not to make a formal complaint.

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