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‘A recurrent and deplorable situation’: Aslacton villagers’ sewage woes

Villagers have been left frustrated at ongoing problems, which have seen raw sewage flowing out of manhole covers and into a rare Norfolk chalk stream.

People living in Aslacton have said the issue has continued for several years but, following months of heavy rain, it has become increasingly worse.

Raw sewage can regularly be seen bubbling up from under manhole covers in Wash Lane, before the torrent of water flows towards the River Tas – a chalk river that runs through south Norfolk towards Norwich.

Aslacton sewage flowing out of manhole covers. Picture: Karl Chappell
Aslacton sewage flowing out of manhole covers. Picture: Karl Chappell

Those living in the village have complained about frequent attempts to raise their concerns with Anglian Water and the local authorities – but the issues persist.

In response, Anglian Water has reiterated that it is working with Norfolk County Council to investigate the issue, blaming persistent bad weather this winter for the ongoing problems.

Karl Chappell, who lives in the village, said: “Despite numerous attempts to seek resolution, the residents of Aslacton continue to face a recurrent and deplorable situation.

“Heavy rain results in raw sewage overflowing through manholes, contaminating our streets and our river.

“We worry that this is posing a significant health risk and is severely affecting the local environment.

“The repeated overflow of sewage into our waterways shows a blatant disregard for environmental standards and public health, highlighting a critical failure in essential infrastructure.”

An Anglian Water spokeswoman said it was a complex issue requiring a multi-agency approach, working with businesses and landowners to address the issue.

Surface water run-off from Great Moulton during periods of heavy rainfall and appliances being plumbed into the foul water network have been blamed as potential causes.

“Ongoing rainfall, combined with the already saturated ground, mean that we’re seeing widespread infiltration of excess water into our sewer network – there is simply a lot of water with nowhere to go,” the spokeswoman said.

The Environment Agency has since said it will contact the pollution response team at Anglian Water to understand more about the issue.

People can report pollution incidents to its 24/7 hotline by calling 0800 807060.

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