Filthy water continues to seep into a Lepton garden – eight months after the disgusting sludge first surfaced.
Now Yorkshire Water and Kirklees Council are working together to try to solve the problem which has turned the garden belonging to Lee and Janet Erwin into a boggy mess.
The water company put up barriers across the garden at Rowley Lane to fence off the flooded area – which included foul-smelling sewage – and dug a trench to contain the effluence. The mucky water has to be pumped out and collected by tanker to be taken away on a daily basis.
The Examiner reported in August how Yorkshire Water hoped to solve the problem by relining an old sewer pipe and refurbishing a manhole cover – after which Mr Erwin’s garden would be fully restored.
But two weeks before Christmas – and eight months after the problem first appeared – floodwater is still seeping into the trench although Mr Erwin said the water appeared no longer to contain sewage.
Mr Erwin said Yorkshire Water had carried out numerous dye tests by various teams at different locations and each time the dye had emerged in his garden.
“The trench fills up every day,” he said. “I wouldn’t say it is sewage any more; it’s more like dishwater from someone’s kitchen or dishwasher.
“It is more than inconvenient. The problem is that we have two dogs and we bought the house so the dogs could get exercise on a daily basis. We have a 100ft garden but are left with 10ft.”
He said equipment used to pump out the trench had damaged a wall at the front of the house and a footpath. The noise of the machinery was annoying the dogs and the neighbours.
“They have come at 11 or 12 o’clock at night to pump it out and we have had to turn them away on occasion,” he said.
“There doesn’t seem to be an end to it. It started late March or early April and eight months later it is still going on. We will be into the new year – and how soon then will it be solved? How soon will it be before they get the garden back to what it was when we moved in here?”
Tom Phillips, customer service manager at Yorkshire Water, said: “We have carried out extensive investigations of the sewer network serving Mr Erwin’s property, have made effective repairs to it and we’re now confident there are no remaining defects on our network.
“Unfortunately, however, Mr Erwin’s rear garden is still being impacted from what we believe to be a stone culvert which doesn’t belong to us. As a result, we’ll be working closely with Kirklees Council to find a way forward as we’re very keen to help Mr Erwin.
“We are also visiting Mr Erwin later this week to agree on next steps and will continue to remain in close contact with him.”