MP for Aylesbury calls for answers regarding sewage problem in Hughenden Valley

David Lidington on the left talking to one of the Hughenden Valley residents

David Lidington on the left talking to one of the Hughenden Valley residents

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

AN MP has questioned the role of Thames Water following the sewage crisis in Hughenden Valley.

David Lidington, MP for Aylesbury, played an active role in getting in touch with Thames Water when sewage blighted Valley Road and Boss Lane at the end of February.

Residents were left to acquire pumps at their own expense in order to redirect raw sewage away from their homes and gardens.

Eventually Thames Water installed two pumps which alleviated the problem.

The MP, who covers Hughenden, said it is not the first time residents were hit by the problem as it occurred in 2001.

Residents told Mr Lidington maintenance work was carried out on the sewers in the late 1990s to prevent the infiltration of groundwater to try and stop this problem from occurring.

He said: "Attempts by Thames Water to line the sewer in the late 1990s clearly show that there was an issue with the sewage system in Hughenden.

"Since then the residents of Hughenden have now faced two major incidents as well as a number of near misses and my constituents and I would like to know why no action has been taken to improve infrastructure, especially considering the increasing demand on the system.

"It is very easy to blame such incidents on the extreme weather we have experienced, however, it is my worry that this simply served to exacerbate an endemic problem."

He said given the time it takes for groundwater to drain from the water table there is a chance it could happen again.

At Tuesday night's monthly Hughenden Parish Council, county and district councillor, David Carroll said the pumps seem to have been beneficial.

He said: "Our residents have been very patient and put up with a lot.

"Everyone wants to know what the future is as we don't want it to happen again.

"A meeting will be organised through the MP and we will go from there.

"We want to talk to people at the top."

Mr Lidington will be chairing a meeting to discuss how the situation can be handled by a multiple agency approach in the future.

Sarah Sharpe, spokesman for Thames Water, said: "Our network has been overwhelmed by groundwater when it is only designed to hold wastewater from homes and businesses. We appreciate this is a frustrating time for our customers wanting to get their lives back to normal, but the sheer amount of water in the sewer system means the network will take time to recover and process the high volume of water in the pipes.

"We’re looking forward to meeting with David Lidington MP at the end of April, and we’ll be briefing him on how we’ve prevented flooding by setting up two sets of pumps in the area. We will also be able to discuss with him how we will work together with the lead flood authority responsible for managing groundwater risk, Buckinghamshire County Council, to review how we manage groundwater infiltrating the sewer network in the future."

Comments (3)

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10:57pm Wed 9 Apr 14

Undercover Euro Yob says...

If they were to privatise Thames Water then market forces would put an end to this type of fiasco at no expense to the public - in fact water rates might well fall.
If they were to privatise Thames Water then market forces would put an end to this type of fiasco at no expense to the public - in fact water rates might well fall. Undercover Euro Yob
  • Score: 2

8:23am Thu 10 Apr 14

tabact says...

Thames Water was privatised in 1989.
Thames Water was privatised in 1989. tabact
  • Score: -2

12:38pm Thu 10 Apr 14

Undercover Euro Yob says...

Then in that case this report must be false as privatisation and the efficiency and discipline of the market place was going to see the end of problems with public utilities like power, transport and water.
Then in that case this report must be false as privatisation and the efficiency and discipline of the market place was going to see the end of problems with public utilities like power, transport and water. Undercover Euro Yob
  • Score: 1

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