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Sewage leak caused by fat down drains
A CLEAN-UP operation was launched on Canvey after sewage began spewing into a dyke.
Contractors from Anglian Water were drafted into the Dutch Village after residents reported seeing the sewage pouring into a dyke off St Christopher’s Close.
The waterway is one of numerous drainage channels across the island linked to Tewkes Creek and Benfleet Creek, which provide a natural flood defence in times of heavy rain.
Residents looked on as scores of lorries arrived and began draining the mess from the waterways.
Ray Howard , Castle Point councillor responsible for waste, rushed to the site at about 9pm on Thursday after being inundated with calls from residents.
Mr Howard, who is also a county and town councillor, said: “I got calls that contractors were sucking liquid out of the main dyke in the Dutch Village and naturally residents were concerned about what was happening, having seen all the trucks and flashing lights.
“By the time I got there, they had drawn out about seven lorry loads of liquid, but no one would say what was going on. “I eventually learnt it was down to a sewage leak. I appreciate these things can happen, but I am critical of how it was handled. There is no need for secrecy.”
An Anglian Water spokesman said: “We arrived within an hour of the report and found a sewer had become blocked with a build-up of cooking fat and grease. This was cleared and a tanker was called to pump the escaped sewage out of the channel.
“Thankfully, this spill was cleared quickly and there were no serious consequences.”
The company is now urging people to take greater care about what they put down their sinks.
The spokesman added: “Such blockages clearly have the potential to cause real problems and we would urge people to think carefully about what they put down sinks and toilets.
“Cooking fat may disappear down the plug hole easily enough when warm, but, once it reaches the cold sewers, it can quickly congeal causing hard-to-shift blockages.
“Problems are made worse when the fat binds with things like wipes, which have been wrongly flushed down toilets.”
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