ANGRY residents have demanded millions of pounds is ploughed into improving overflowing water mains after sewage seeped into their homes.
Neighbours in Crouchview Close, Wickford, held crunch talks with bosses from Anglian Water last week after their houses were ruined by a burst pipe during a downpour in July.
Ever since, they have faced problems with sewage bubbling over from their toilets, prompting them to say enough is enough.
John Webb, 61, is staying in temporary accommodation in Billericay while major repairs are carried out on his house.
He said water pipes have reached breaking point following the development of the nearby Hodgeson Way industrial estate and surrounding homes.
Mr Webb, a former police officer, said: “The pipework was put in 40 years ago to serve a small village, but the number of houses has grown since then and it simply can’t cope anymore. It isn’t acceptable.
“I got a phone call from my neighbour last weekend to say not to panic, but the toilet was bubbling over and ready to overflow.
We can’t live like this.
“Anglian Water has a duty of care and responsibility to its customers.
We pay them, so we expect them to use that money to maintain their equipment.
“They are just skirting around the issue. The infrastructure needs major improvements and that is going to cost a lot of money.”
Anglian Water fitted cameras into sewage pipes in Crouchview Close, but are still unsure what is causing the repeated problems.
Peter Holliman, Ukip councillor for Wickford North, has been helping residents fight for action. He said: “Something has not been right for a long time, but the flooding we experienced a few weeks ago has just made things worse.
“Residents are spending money doing up their houses and are terrified they are just going to get destroyed again.
“My concern is if Anglian Water discover a major fault will they actually be able to afford to do anything about it?”
Engineers are set to return to the site in the next fewweeks.
A spokeswoman for Anglian Water said: “We used CCTV surveillance to see if we could identify a problem and that hasn’t revealed anything conclusive.
Our engineers will be going back to carry out further investigations.”