South West Water slammed for ‘washing hands’ to not protect flooded Ottery properties

PUBLISHED: 11:00 07 December 2018

The road is closed outside the Otter Holts development in Ottery following heavy rain. Picture: Contributed

The road is closed outside the Otter Holts development in Ottery following heavy rain. Picture: Contributed

Archant

A row has broken out between councillors and the water company following last week’s flooding.

The road is closed outside the Otter Holts development in Ottery following heavy rain. Picture: Ian HolmesThe road is closed outside the Otter Holts development in Ottery following heavy rain. Picture: Ian Holmes

Town and county councillors called for South West Water (SWW) to take responsibility after residents in Victoria Terrace were once again hit by flooding. An estimated 10 inches of rain fell in half an hour last Tuesday, forcing residents to rush to protect their properties.

At Monday’s town council meeting, members said a £150,000 pipe installed earlier this year was not working, while the company has since said the flooding was unrelated.

Councillor Claire Wright said it was ‘astonishing’ the company would do no more.

She added: “We had hoped when SWW said they were going to install a pipe, which they did, to divert the water away from the road and we thought the problem would be solved. Unfortunately, when the rain came down and caused the flood residents found under the manhole there was no water flowing through the pipe, so that pipe isn’t working, which is extremely disappointing.”

The road is closed outside the Otter Holts development in Ottery following heavy rain. Picture: Ian HolmesThe road is closed outside the Otter Holts development in Ottery following heavy rain. Picture: Ian Holmes

Last Tuesday, South West Water checked the sewers and said the water on the road was due to heavy rainfall.

A spokesperson said: “The work completed earlier in the year at Ottery St Mary formed part of a refurbishment scheme to replace aging infrastructure and is not connected to the build-up of surface water in the road last week.”

Councillor Roger Giles said the work took several weeks and cost £150,000 and did not work.

Cllr Roger Giles said: “I think it is outrageous again that SWW to wash their hands of it.

“In the very heavy rainfall recently the pipe was empty there was nothing in it. How on earth could they wash their hands of that?”

Cllr Glyn Dobson said the work was done with public money and that someone at the company needed to be accountable.

He said: “It’s a terrible situation for those living down there at Victoria Terrace, walking around sewage in their front room, and they spent thousands of pounds to say: ‘Oh it doesn’t work so what?’

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