Homeowners outrage after foul sewer bursts in their estate
27th February 2021

Horrified homeowners are confronted with ‘river of sewage’ running down driveways of their £260,000 new-builds after days of rain causes manhole covers to overflow

  • Kimberley Bourton, 46, moved into her new home with husband Lee in August
  • She claims the new-build estate in Northumberland is blighted with problems 
  • Shocking video shows raw effluent flowing out of a manhole cover in the estate 
  • The estate’s joint contractors claim they are working on fixing the issue  

Disgusted residents woke to find their homes surrounded by raw sewage following days of heavy rain caused flooding on a new-build estate.

Families living in The Fairways Estate, in Cramlington, Northumberland were horrified by the streams of foul water, which they even claim deposited solid human waste in some gardens.

Kimberley Bourton moved into her brand new £260,000 home on the development with husband Lee in August, excited to start life in what should have been their ‘ideal home’.

Kimberley and Lee Bourton, pictured, moved intot heir new-build home in Cramlington, Northumberland in August

During recent storms, foul water flowed out of the sewers even bursting open manhole covers

But she said the couple have been beset by drainage problems at the house ever since, with manhole covers overflowing ‘after any heavy rainfall’.

Ms Bourton, 48, said following days of torrential rain ‘disgusting/’ streams of water were flowing across the estate.  

The NHS worker said: ‘We actually had a river of sewage running down our front lawn and over the drive. You can’t flush the toilets when the drains are overflowing, it’s disgusting, absolutely terrible.

‘A lot of other houses on the estate have been affected. One lady had been out shopping and came back to find her garden was covered with faeces, all over the patio.

‘We are concerned about the health of residents, especially with Covid, it’s very worrying.’

Persimmon Homes, from whom the couple bought the house, said they were working to resolve the issue with co-developer Bellway, which has also built houses on the site. 

The couple said they’d been ‘banging their heads off a brick wall’ trying to get issues with their home resolved ever since they had moved in.

Ms Bourton said: ‘We’ve had a lot of drainage issues ever since we moved in: we have never been able to use our back garden since we moved in because it’s just covered in mud.

‘The plot that we chose has a beautiful outlook over the fields: this was meant to be our ideal property and it really hasn’t worked out the way it was meant to. You just expect it to be a brilliant new house that you can move into with no problems at all, but it’s just been one thing after another.’

A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes said: ‘We apologise to our customers who were affected and wish to reassure them that our engineers are looking into the cause to ensure this does not happen again.

This image, taken during a recent storm, shows water bursting out of the sewer 

‘We believe the extreme weather caused surface water to enter the foul drainage system which then escaped from the drainage covers.

‘A soon as we were made aware of the problem, we arranged for specialist contractors to pump out and remove the waste-water from the systems, clean and sterilise the areas affected at the development.

‘Work is currently underway by us and co-developer Bellway, to identify as a matter of priority where the surface water entered the drainage system and to prevent this being repeated.

‘We will continue to keep our homeowners affected updated on progress.’

A Bellway spokesperson added: ‘Work between Bellway and Persimmon is already underway to ensure the prevention of surface water entering the drainage system again, and we will communicate directly to any of our homeowners affected by this issue to update them on the progress of this work.’ 

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