Flooded out

PUBLISHED: 11:27 15 February 2007 | UPDATED: 14:59 12 May 2010

Ken Newick:”We want the drain cleared out” - Pics: Daniel Wilson
2194DW8

Ken Newick:”We want the drain cleared out” - Pics: Daniel Wilson 2194DW8

VICTIMS of repeated flooding say a blocked drain is making their gardens look like Niagara Falls. Ken Newick and Bill Blackman of Monks Walk, Buntingford, had their gardens flooded for the seventh time on Monday after repeatedly asking Herts Highways to c

Bill Blackman: “Water is up against my house.” 2194DW11

VICTIMS of repeated flooding say a blocked drain is making their gardens look like Niagara Falls.

Ken Newick and Bill Blackman of Monks Walk, Buntingford, had their gardens flooded for the seventh time on Monday after repeatedly asking Herts Highways to clear the drain which is situated on a public footpath outside their homes.

The frustrated residents believe the drain has a pipe attached to it that runs to the River Rib and think the pipe has become blocked.

When the water runs down the estate it backs up at the drain and floods the gardens of four homes.

"The path is two-foot deep in cloudy water whenever it rains," said Mr Newick.

"The water fills up my pond which is full of Koi and at the moment I can't see if the fish are dead or alive because the water is so cloudy.

"The water is even falling off my raised flower beds. It's a lovely water feature - it looks like Niagara Falls."

Residents say they have suffered from the effects of the blocked drain for about three years.

Mr Newick said: "We want the drain cleared out. The council is quick enough to take Council Tax from us.

"I'm convinced that because we live in private housing, they don't bother."

Bill Blackman of Monks Walk, whose home is next to the drain, said: "My garden is under water and water is up against my house.

"If the water goes in the air blocks I don't know what long- term damage it will do."

Mr Blackman believes a solution to the problem would be to dig up the path and attach a new pipe to the existing one. Alternatively he has suggested building a six foot wall made from waterproof engineering blocks outside his home.

"It will cost thousands of pounds," he said.

"But I will have to do it if Herts Highways don't do anything because sooner or later it will flood my house.

"Someone did come and put sandbags out, but they only moved the water further up the alley."

A Herts Highways spokesman said: "We are aware of the problem and have carried out high pressure jetting of the pipe.

"The cause of the problem is the blocking of a pipe under one of the gardens. So the next stage is to investigate the blockage and use CCTV in the pipe before taking action.

"For this kind of work you have to hire a specialist company so we are unable to indicate a time scale at the moment.

"We will then draw up a gulley drainage scheme to make improvements to the system which will be implemented when funding becomes available and other existing maintenance problems have been addressed."

MP for North East Herts Oliver Heald has also contacted East Herts District Council and Herts Highways about the matter.

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