Horrified woman's 'nightmare' after sewage floods her home

River of raw sewage inundates horrified woman’s home after drain in her back garden burst and sent deluge of faeces through her back door

  • Lesley Lacey-Smith, 64, said she is living in a ‘nightmare’ after her home flooded
  • A stinking river of sewage made up of tampons, wet wipes and faeces poured in 
  • Despite the water company coming out to pump the drain and look at what caused the problem, five days later, the same thing happened again

A stinking river of sewage made up of tampons, wet wipes and faeces poured into a disgusted woman’s home three times in a week. 

Lesley Lacey-Smith, 64, said she is living in a ‘nightmare’ after her home in Margate, Kent, was repeatedly left awash with waste.

She said she has been forced to sleep on a neighbour’s sofa in the middle of the pandemic – as sludge and water has flooded through the main drain into her garden.

Her fridge was destroyed by water damage in the wreckage and she says she fears some of her clothes ‘will never be clean’.

Ms Lacey-Smith said: ‘I feel I’ve been dragged through the hedge backwards. It’s a nightmare.

‘I’ve been massively affected by this. I’ve been trying to be nice to not cause too much of a fuss.

‘It’s so hard to fight. I keep thinking I need to fight this situation but it’s hard. I’m not blaming the renters, but they don’t care as much about the state of the road as the property owners do.

Lesley Lacey-Smith, 64, said she is living in a ‘nightmare’ after her home in Margate, Kent, was repeatedly left awash with waste

Lesley Lacey-Smith’s property covered in sewage. She said she has been forced to sleep on a neighbour’s sofa in the middle of the pandemic – as sludge and water has flooded through the main drain into her garden

Ms Lacey-Smith said it began earlier this month when a resident called her one morning, saying ‘don’t look outside’

‘They’re flushing wet wipes and tampons down the toilet – it’s horrendous.’

Ms Lacey-Smith said it began earlier this month when a resident called her one morning, saying ‘don’t look outside’.

She said: ‘Of course I did and there were tampons, wet wipes, faeces – it was so disgusting.

‘I’ve got a main drain in my garden and I’m technically the last house in the row as the one on the end is new. So I had everybody’s sewage from the other houses coming up and flooding into my house.

‘The reality of that smell, there is nothing like it. I’m never going to stop washing my things.

‘One night I slept in the house when the sewage was downstairs and all I kept dreaming of was sewage and rats.’

Ms Lacey-Smith says she called Southern Water, but cleaned up the mess herself the first time it happened.

Lesley Lacey-Smith’s property covered in sewage. Southern Water apologised to residents for the disruption and said the blockage was caused by a large piece of wood found lodged in the sewer

‘I wasn’t going to sit there with all this sewage in my house,’ she said.

‘I thought by the time I wait for Southern Water to get here and a cleaning company to come, I might as well just do it.’

Despite the water company coming out to pump the drain and look at what caused the problem, five days later, the same thing happened again.

A cleaning company was sent who she says spent seven hours in her property, but failed to get all the waste out.

Ms Lacey-Smith said: ‘I went round with a tissue afterwards and it got clogged up with sewage, it wasn’t clean.

‘This is the problem – if I lived in a mansion or a half a million pound house it would all be sorted straight away and properly.

‘But because I’m living in a road viewed as poor, things don’t happen quickly. There is no recycling here, the road needs fixing and there are issues with some of the houses. It’s not right.’

Ms Lacey-Smith said: ‘I feel I’ve been dragged through the hedge backwards. It’s a nightmare’

Two days later, a third sewage incident saw more sludge pour through her home.

She said: ‘I’m not a natural complainer and I’m not a money-grabber – all I want is my fridge replaced, which was damaged by water, and anything else that’s been damaged – but I need to highlight this should it happen to others here.

‘I just hope I’m compensated after all of this.

‘Fortunately, I’m renovating and so thank God I didn’t have a new floor down already.’

Southern Water apologised to residents for the disruption and said the blockage was caused by a large piece of wood found lodged in the sewer.

A spokesman said: ‘We’ve used tankers to manage flows and our Rainbow team is assisting residents who have been affected,’ they said.

‘Access to the relevant part of the sewer could only be gained from railway land and we needed to ask permission from Network Rail to work which meant this went on longer than we would have liked.

‘We hope householders will understand these exceptional circumstances.’

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