Sewage Flood Disaster: Family’s Home in Hethe Devastated, Water Company Offers Limited Help

Sewage Flood Disaster: Family’s Home in Hethe Devastated, Water Company Offers Limited Help

A family residing in Hethe, Oxfordshire, has been left deeply “traumatized” after their home’s entire ground floor was flooded with raw sewage.


The distressing incident occurred at around 9.30 pm one night when filthy brown water started pouring into Peter Ward’s family home.

Peter, aged 57, has been living in the house with his wife and 12-year-old son for over a decade.

Unfortunately, their residence is situated merely 100 yards away from a sewage pumping station.

The cause of the sewage flood was a ball that got stuck in the pump assembly, leading to the sudden gushing of sewage from the ground floor toilet during the evening.


The situation quickly escalated, and the pungent smell became unbearable.

The fast-rising sewage inundated the ground floor, causing severe damage to many of their belongings, rendering some beyond repair.

Peter Ward described the horrifying experience, stating, “It was a very distressing experience.

The raw sewage was gushing out at such a fast rate, that our ground floor quickly became flooded with brown and dirty water.

Our dog, Tottie, kept running through the sewage so we had to keep picking her up and washing her in the sink.”


Peter immediately contacted Anglian Water at 10.30 pm, but despite their offer to cover the family’s accommodation in a hotel due to the overpowering stench of faeces, they were unable to find an available hotel room that weekend due to the F1 Grand Prix taking place at Silverstone.

Anglian Water sent workers to disinfect the house at 5 pm the following day, but the smell of disinfectant lingered for four days.

Peter expressed his frustration as he was compelled to spend the night in the house amidst the sewage smell, with no guarantees that it wouldn’t happen again.

He sought £5,000 compensation from Anglian Water for the immense distress, inconvenience, suffering, and damage caused to their belongings, but the request was refused.

The aftermath of the incident led to further frustrations for Peter Ward.


His housing insurance company promptly informed him that his premium would increase as a result of the incident, even though it was beyond his control.

The incident raised concerns about the potential for similar occurrences in neighboring houses if the pressure had been any worse.

On July 18, Mr. Ward received an email denying liability for the damage caused by the sewage deluge.

According to Anglian Water’s investigation, the sewer flooding resulted from a third-party blockage rather than a failure of their network.

The blockage occurred due to a ball becoming stuck in the pump assembly, causing it to malfunction.


Despite the denial of responsibility, a spokesperson for Anglian Water expressed sympathy for the affected customer and acknowledged the seriousness of all flooding reports.

The company had offered to provide alternate accommodation on the night the incident was reported and had carried out a cleanup through their contractor, Dryright.

They advised Mr. Ward to contact his home insurance company to discuss any compensation related to the flooding.

The family’s traumatic experience and the subsequent refusal of liability have left them grappling with the emotional and financial consequences of the sewage deluge that wreaked havoc on their cherished home.

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