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Aletha's story: sewerage overflow problem persists for years
Sewage overflow in heavy rain affects Aletha’s home and neighbourhood for years
Whenever there was heavy rainfall, the sewerage system in Aletha’s neighbourhood would overflow from a manhole in the street. This would cause raw sewage to flood the outside areas of the property where Aletha lives with her 92 year old mother and cause their toilet, shower and basins to fail.
For many years, Aletha had been trying without success to have the water provider resolve this issue at her mother’s property. The problem was causing significant disruption and health concerns; the overflow events would force them to wade through ankle-deep sewage to vacate the house for several days at a time. Aletha was aware that a number of neighbours were also affected. The water provider had advised Aletha five years earlier that the overflow problem was caused by an elbow in their pipework and that plans for an extension to the system to address the issue were approved, with funding pending.
Aletha explained that she was at her wits’ end when she called EWON for assistance.
We discussed the matter with the water provider, who confirmed they were aware of the issue affecting Aletha and her neighbours. They explained that the completion of remedial works would require development and approval of drawings, submissions and a business plan. While they regretted the impact of the overflows on the community, they said it was not possible for the company to reliably indicate a timeframe for the work.
We noted that although the problem had been identified back in 2007, no progress appeared to have been made. The provider acknowledged this and the matter was reviewed. Several months later, the remedial works were commenced.