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Southern Water praised for swift response to sewage spill in Bearsted

A water company has earned praise after a swift response to a sewage spillage.

Heavy rain often results in flooding to the south of Bearsted Green in the village just outside Maidstone.

Flooding at The Green, in Bearsted
Flooding at The Green, in Bearsted

But a recent downpour also resulted in sewage being spread across the road and partly onto the field.

Parish council chairman David Hall made the mistake of driving through it.

He said: “Gosh, did it smell bad, really terrible! I realised at once that this was more than just the usual flooding.”

Cllr Hall contacted Southern Water. He said: “They had an engineer out there that afternoon. The next day they returned and did a full inspection of the system using cameras. Just two days later – on a Sunday – Kent County Council issued the notice to close the road so that repairs could be carried out.”

The inspection revealed a pipe had collapsed.

Cllr David Hall
Cllr David Hall
There was sewage mixed in with the water
There was sewage mixed in with the water

As a result the southern arm of The Green will be closed from its junction with Church Lane from Monday, September 11, until Wednesday, September 20.

The flooding has currently drained away. Cllr Hall said: “We do just have to hope there’s not another big downpour before mid-September.”

Southern Water said it was making regular inspection visits in the meantime to ensure that the sewage was retained within the pipework.

Cllr Hall said: “Water companies get a lot of criticism, but on this occasion, Southern Water was very efficient.”

Though Cllr Hall admitted: “It does still whiff a bit round there.”

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