Galliagh resident ‘at end of tether’ with raw sewage ‘nightmare’

The back yard of the property at Glencaw Park where raw sewage can be seen seeping from a manhole and running into the adjacent street. (1907SL07)
The back yard of the property at Glencaw Park where raw sewage can be seen seeping from a manhole and running into the adjacent street. (1907SL07)

A Derry woman says she’s “at the end of her tether” because of raw sewage that’s been spilling into her back yard for more than 15 years.

The Glencaw Park resident spoke out this week after effluent again overflowed from a manhole cover located at the rear of her Galliagh home.

The householder - who’s been living in the property for more than 30 years - says it’s a problem that’s been ongoing for about 17-18 years.

She claims the sewage overflow - sometimes inches deep - only became a problem after the construction of houses in nearby Leafair Gardens.

“I’m tearing my hair out,” she told the ‘Journal’ this week. “I feel like I’ve been banging my head against a brick wall for the past 17-18 years.

“Nothing has been done to resolve the problem and I’ve had enough. I now want something done once and for all.”

The woman - who lives in the house with her husband - believes the sewage overflow poses a “health risk”.

“It gets so bad at times that it’s actually running out of the yard and into the back square where kids are playing.

“Only last week, the manhole cover was forced open as a result of the amount of sewage escaping. The smell was awful.

“The authorities frequently tell me that the problem gets worse when it rains but this is nonsense. Last Saturday, when the sun was splitting the skies, the sewage was running down the street.

“I don’t want to hear any more excuses about pipes being blocked or this and that - I want this sorted and sorted now. It’s a nightmare.”

In response, a spokesperson for NI Water said: “NI Water is aware of this issue and, as a result, will arrange a visit with this customer. A CCTV survey of the sewer line will also be carried out next week in order to determine if there are any underlying defects within the sewer causing blockages in the system.

“NI Water is committed to resolving this issue and, in the meantime, would appeal to customers in the area to help us with the task of keeping our sewers clean and flowing freely by not flushing inappropriate items down the loo.

“Items such as sanitary products and baby wipes are often flushed into the sewerage system and cause blockages resulting in out of sewer flooding; the advice is simple: only flush toilet roll, everything else should go in the bin.”