Solihull mum's sewage fumes nightmare - as council issues nappy flushing warning - The Solihull Observer

Solihull mum's sewage fumes nightmare - as council issues nappy flushing warning

Solihull Editorial 25th May, 2018   0

SEWAGE fumes, damp and mould caused by a leaking pipe under a mum’s home have made her life a nightmare for six months, she claims.

But the council says the problem has been caused by flushing wipes and nappies down the toilet.

It has also issued a public warning about the issue.

Sophie Ellison, aged 22, lives in Chelmsley Wood with her two children, Ryan, 15-months-old, and Tia-May, 4.

She lives in a two-bedroom maisonette she acquired through council housing organisation Solihull Community Housing (SCH).

For six months, an undetected leak in the sewage pipe had been left to fester while the situation had not been helped by blocked drains.

She contacted SCH and plumbing companies several times from the beginning of her tenancy appealing for support.

She says she has been forced to sleep on the sofa while she and her children have had difficulty breathing, and chest infections.

Solihull council claimed the problems were caused by nappies and wipes discarded down the toilet by neighbouring tenants.

The sewage leak was fixed at the beginning of this month.

She said: “I didn’t know what to do to solve the problem. It kicked my depression back off again.

“This made everything much worse as my daughter was just getting over two big operations.

“It made me hate where I’m living. The house got damp and mould – it was never ending.

“I started to give up hope. I felt like giving up my house and moving back home with my mum.

“But I knew deep down I couldn’t give up as it means I can have my own place to be with my two kids.”

Sophie’s aunt, Jamie Huskisson, has claimed the council has let Sophie down and said she had called numerous organisations – including the council – to get help for Sophie over the six-month period.

A spokesperson for Solihull council said: “The tenant reported a sewage smell on December 8 and SCH sent a plumber to unblock the gully and check the stack that day.

“The same tenant reported a leak to the soil pipe on April 27 this year and a temporary repair was carried out that day.

“There were also other issues with nappy and wipe blockages which Severn Trent unblocked later that night.

“The following day everything was working and leak free.

“The leak was due to drains backing up and the drain technician replaced the rest bend for this property on May 8.

“We would like to remind all our tenants not to put nappies and wipes down their toilets as they inevitably cause blockages.

“This causes huge problems for other tenants.”


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