Gardens flooded with ‘stream of sewage’ as residents complain of ‘horrible smell’

Homeowners were left disgusted after their gardens were flooded with sewage as a result of pipes bursting following heavy rain.

Residents in Sydenham, East Belfast said there was a lingering bad smell in the area on Tuesday, with drains overflowing in a number of streets.

Pipes burst in some homes, causing sewage to leak across gardens, while one resident’s garden was left covered in waste after a sewage pipe burst following a “riptide of poo” in the area, Belfast Live reports.

The homeowner, who lives in Sydenham Avenue, said: “My garden is covered in raw sewage after this riptide of poo overwhelmed the drains around the area. It even had a steel stop gap on the pipe to stop this from happening, but the pressure of it all still forced the gap off.

“I have reported it to NI Water and I understand that there have been similar incidents reported all over the Sydenham area.

“The long dry spell and the heavy downpours on Monday has sent streams of sewage out of the pipes.”

Another resident, who lives in nearby Park Avenue, complained of a “horrible smell in certain parts of the area around Connsbrook”.

A third homeowner added: “It looked like there was a river flowing behind our house on Monday when the rain started. We do have issues with the drains around here because a number of them have been blocked or paved over, so when it rains heavily it has nowhere to go but flow down the hill.”

East Belfast DUP MLA David Brooks said he has written to NI Water after residents living in the area around Victoria Park made him aware of the issues/

He said: “Following on from the heavy rainfall in East Belfast, yesterday we were contacted by a number of residents in Lisavon Drive. For a time there was a danger of significant flooding and given recent pipe works in the street, residents are concerned about a possible link and a reoccurrence, especially in light of anticipated further rainfall.

“Councillor George Dorrian and I have jointly written to NI Water requesting that urgent action is taken to reassure residents, and if required, that works are undertaken immediately to rectify any problems.”

A NI Water spokesperson said: “Following very heavy rain on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 August, NI Water staff responded to reports of flooding in the Connswater, Park Avenue, Sydenham Avenue and Victoria road areas of east Belfast. NI Water crews and contractors carried out a clean-up of the area following a localised heavy rainfall event.

“This incident is a timely reminder that everyone can help prevent the risk of out-of-sewer flooding and blockages occurring, by only flushing the three Ps – Paper, Poo and Pee; everything else needs to be binned. We continue to promote our extensive ‘Bag It and Bin It’ campaign to highlight the problems associated with flushing inappropriate items down the toilet and the careful disposal of FOG (Fats Oils & Greases).

“The most common items people flush away instead of binning are baby wipes/bathroom wipes, cotton buds and sanitary items. These eyesores and pollutants can appear on our beaches, and are the last thing anyone wants to find on the sand on a sunny day by the seaside. For more information about NI Water’s ‘Bag It and Bin It’ campaign.

“Customers who experience flooding are encouraged to phone the multi-agency Flooding Incident Line on 0300 2000 100 or check NI Direct for advice.”