Family fighting back floods of faeces for 17 years

Met Office: Flooding warning as yellow rain warning issued

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Robert Shephard, their son, has entered into conversations with United Utiltiies (UU), the company reponsible for fixing the turgid occurrence, something the Shephards belive is due to non-return valves being installed in 2005.

The purpose these valves was to prevent flooding in another part of the area.

However, UU disagree. In a statement, they said “historical water works in the area are not casuing the flooding” and added they were “committed to exploring solutions to the flooding”.

While there may be differing beliefs on the cause of the flooding, one thing that remains a constant is the impact on the Shephards. Robert told the Liverpool Echo: “We’ve lived here since 1974 and it never flooded before 2006. We could get a valve fitted privately but it would then just potentially pass the problem onto our neighbour and cause them to flood.

“We’ve not flooded for 18 months but we don’t know why we haven’t flooded. I stayed here last night, I was worried the entire time that it was going to flood with the heavy rain.”

His father Alf added the the real problem would be when they sold the house as they would have to “declare” the flooding.

In the meantime, a spokesperson for UU said: “We have been in regular contact with the residents of a property on Altway regarding the distressing issue of recurring flooding to their driveway and garden, with the most recent event reported to us in July 2021.

“Our latest meeting with the residents was in December 2022, where we again explained that the historical works in the area are not causing flooding to the property. “As well as carrying out cleaning and CCTV surveys of the sewers, we have installed our state-of-the-art digital monitors to gather data on how they are operating.

“This information is providing us with valuable insight into the performance of the sewer network and any issues that need to be resolved.

The monitors haven’t highlighted any issues since they were installed, and we will continue to review this data and share the reports with the customer through our regular updates to him. We are committed to exploring solutions to the flooding, and are doing this with a view of the level of risk and cost-effectiveness of any potential intervention.”

Despite the fact that UU has offered to finish work on the driveway to remedy the problem, Robert says this isn’t possible due to his parent’s advanced ages of 88 and 85 respectively.

What this means is the Shephards face the continued risk of left over waste on their driveway every time it rains, an event likely this week.

On Tuesday morning the Met Office triggered flood warnings across the country due to the high rainfall expected.

They issued three yellow warnings for the inclement weather. Meteorologist Alex Deakin said the forget as “rather dull and damp” with “gusty winds”.

He added: “The rain will be spreading its way through eastern England and then through Scotland. There will be heavy and persistent rain for north-west England and parts of Wales, and, because it has been so wet recently, this extra rain could cause some issues, so we do have Met Office yellow warnings in place.”

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Despite the weather, temperatures are expected to be mild for the time of year with most areas seeing the mercury rise above 10C.

Overall, environmental regulators have issued close to 150 flood warnings across the UK as saturated ground means the risk of flooding is much higher.

As a result, the guidance is to remain well equipped to deal with the weather to drive carefully if using the roads. 

January has been milder than expected with temperatures yet to reach the lows common at this time of year.

The month may not even be half over, but already it has broken multiple heat records around the world.

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