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Home   Sheerness   News   Article

Halfway drains cleared in bid to end flooding nightmare

12 December 2013
by Lewis Dyson
Cllr Mick Constable next to the drain which is being cleared after years of floods caused by a 93% blockage

Cllr Mick Constable next to the drain which is being cleared after years of floods caused by a 93% blockage

Flooding problems are believed to have been caused by pipes that were up to 95% blocked by rubbish.

There are hopes the long running issue may be resolved as work to clear clogged drains is being carried out.

For several years, areas of Halfway have flooded when it rains, which led to some homes being affected by raw sewage, as the downpours mixed with it underground and brought it to the surface.

The Times Guardian reported on such an incident at Minster Road Baptist Church in September last year.

Ward member for Halfway, Mick Constable, said there has been a lot of “passing the buck” between Kent County Council, Swale council and Southern Water as to whose responsibility the problem was.

He arranged a meeting between these organisations and MP Gordon Henderson at Swale House, Sittingbourne, last month to try to agree a resolution.

An investigation by Southern Water engineers over the past four weeks using CCTV cameras revealed the pipes were nearly completely blocked with plastic bottles, litter and grease.

As a result, one drain in Belmont Road has been cleared.

Work is planned at another two locations identified as being badly affected: at the mini-roundabout on the junction of Halfway Road and Power Station Road and one on Queenborough Road.

Cllr Constable said: “It is excellent news.

“This has been going on for a couple of years at least but hopefully now, it will be over. I’m quite optimistic.

“They have repaired the main one that was causing so much havoc.”

A Southern Water spokesman said that as well as clearing obstructions, pipes which were illegally joined to the system have been disconnected.

Other improvements include upgrades to a pumping station, non-return valves being added to protect homes from flooding and tidal flaps to stop drains flowing back up.

A spokesman for Southern Water said: “Sewer blockages can contribute to flooding so we ask customers not to pour cooking oil down sinks or flush rubbish down the toilet.

“We ask customers to help us by only flushing the three Ps: pee, poo and paper. Everything else should be put in the bin.”

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