Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Ilfracombe sewage nightmare on Channel 4 Dispatches tonight

12:32 03 February 2014

Channel 4 Dispatches reporter Antony Barnett will lift the lid tonight (Monday) on Ilfracombe's sewage flood misery.

Channel 4 Dispatches reporter Antony Barnett will lift the lid tonight (Monday) on Ilfracombe's sewage flood misery.

Archant

Hard-hitting show will tell of residents battling floods of sewage on a tide of misery tonight (Monday) on Channel 4 at 8pm.

AS high tides batter Ilfracombe, the town is set to feature in a very timely episode of Channel 4 Dispatches tonight (Monday).

Floods: Your Money Down the Drain features several Ilfracombe residents faced with raw sewage pouring from their drains following heavy rain or high tides.

The show airs at 8pm on Channel 4 and with a weekend of seas breaching defences around Ilfracombe, could not be timelier, although as yet no incidents of sewage flooding have been reported, according to South West Water.

Tonight, presenter Antony Barnett speaks to resident Emma Hiles-McKellar as well as fishing shop owners John and Janet Fennell plus landlord Richard Wheeler.

Emma, joined by daughter Chloe, tells the cameras how more than five or 10 minutes of heavy rain was enough to see raw sewage coming up through the drain at her home and then through the kitchen sink. She says it has flooded her kitchen five times.

“It stinks, absolutely stinks,” she says.

“I think they need to sort it out really and think about what they put families like myself through.”

The show reports how South West Water has offered to drop the sewage charges from Emma’s bill, but she claims the problem still hasn’t been fixed or compensation offered.

John and Janet Fennell at Variety Sports fishing tackle shop in Broad Street told the show they had been running the shop for more than 20 years, and suffered sewer flooding for the past 12:

“When the sewer fills up it backs up our sewer, comes up a small drain we have in the back yard there, to a level where it goes into an air brick and flows underneath the floors of the shop and the stock room,” said John.

“Well we are in our sixties now, we’ve worked the business hard for over 20 years and we’d like to retire and obviously sell the business as a going concern.”

Royal Britannia landlord Richard Wheeler told Dispatches raw sewage had also flooded the pub patio four times in the past year.

The show claims following a Freedom of Information request to the Environment Agency, South West Water is at number five on the list of the ‘worst sewage polluters’ with 30 incidents, but says the company made £130million last year.

In a statement to the North Devon Gazette, South West Water said: “We recognise sewer flooding can be extremely distressing when it happens and take the problem very seriously. That’s why we are spending £42million in the five years to 2015 on improving the region’s sewerage pipes to counter the effects of the much wetter winters being experienced.

“We regret the internal sewer flooding Mr Fennell has experienced, the last occasion being last September. Ilfracombe is low-lying and when it rains very hard this can cause the sewers to fill up with storm water, leading to flooding problems.

“We have taken several actions to try to cure the problem for Mr Fennell, including: Upgrading the storm tank at Cheyne Pumping Station, regularly maintaining the valve for the sea outfall, installing pumped non-return valves to protect property.

“In addition, Mr Fennell has been compensated under the terms of our Guaranteed Standards of Service.

“So far the actions taken seem to have worked as, despite the terrible weather this year, we have had no reports of Mr Fennell’s property flooding. However, we remain ever-vigilant and will continue to do what is required.”

* See Floods: Your Money Down the Drain on Channel 4 tonight (Monday) at 8pm.

0 comments

Other News Stories

Yesterday, 17:24

What do you do if you find a stranded seal? As two are released at Combe Martin after staying at Combe Martin Wildlife and Dinosaur Park, the RSPCA offers advice to anyone who finds a stranded seal

Read more
Yesterday, 17:02

Peter Heaton-Jones was debating fair funding for Devon alongside the county’s MPs in Westminster Hall yesterday (Wednesday)

Read more
Yesterday, 17:02

North Devon Council agreed a motion last night (Wednseday) to put pressure on the Government to change its new proposals for education funding, with many schools facing reduced budgets

Read more
Yesterday, 15:52

A specialist rescue team was called to Harracott to rescue a bullock stuck in a slurry pit this morning (Thursday).

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

There is still chance to nominate your inspirational North Devonians – have your say before February 4.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:22

The public has until March 2 to have their say on the options for the pedestrian and cycle bridge over the River Taw

Read more
Yesterday, 11:01

Topshop in Green Lanes, Barnstaple, closed its doors for the final time on Saturday.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:07

Deliveries, online sales and maybe a new shop are the targets for Tom Honey and his successful Stoned business

Read more
Yesterday, 10:05

Harley and Daisy cannot be parted and Dogs Trust Ilfracombe needs to find a home for them both

Read more
Wed, 19:15

The Barnstaple branch of Northern Devon Foodbank has had new security fixtures donated and fitted after a Christmas break-in

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 2°C

min temp: -1°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications