Residents forced to clean-up raw sewage

Residents felt they were left with no choice but to clean-up raw sewage in Benvarden Avenue. This photo shows the road outside houses after the clean-up.
Residents felt they were left with no choice but to clean-up raw sewage in Benvarden Avenue. This photo shows the road outside houses after the clean-up.
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People living in Benvarden Avenue in the Waterside said they were forced to clean-up raw sewage this week.

Residents living in the area told the ‘Journal’ they started to notice raw sewage in the street on Monday.

“The smell was awful and when we went outside we could see the raw sewage in the street. It’s quite shocking to be met with such a sight when you step outside your front door,” said one resident who asked not to be named.

Benvarden Avenue residents also contacted local Sinn Féin Councillor Christopher Jackson who subsequently contacted Northern Ireland Water on their behalf.

“I was contacted by a number of residents on Monday regarding raw sewage running the street in Benvarden Avenue,” said Colr. Jackson.

“Their natural concern was for the health and safety of local people. And, in particular young children who would be out playing in the street.”

Colr. Jackson contacted Northern Ireland Water and whilst they did dispatch a team to investigate the incident the residents went ahead and started to clean-up the sewage themselves.

“I contacted Northern Ireland Water who told me they would have a contractor out as a matter of urgency but could only guarantee that someone would be out within eight hours.

“Residents told that me someone did come out but said it could take some time before they could get it cleaned as they had to carry out investigations, this left residents no option but to try and clear the sewage themselves with a powerhouse.”

Northern Ireland Water told Colr. Jackson the investigation into the cause of the problem will take several days.

“I’ve subsequently been told by NI water that an investigation needs to be carried out to identify the cause of the problem and this may take a few days.”

Colr. Jackson told the ‘Journal’ he had dealt with a similar issue in Primrose Street recently. Colr. Jackson also said the Benvarden Avenue residents believe because of the close proximity to Primrose Street, both incidents are linked.

“Last month I contacted NI water about a similar problem in Primrose Street,” said Colr. Jackson.

“Extensive works were carried out to repair a pipe. Given the close proximity of both areas, local people believe that these are both linked.

“Hopefully a solution can be found to resolve this,” added Colr. Jackson.