A town councillor has expressed concerns over Thames Water’s response to a raw sewage leak in Lower Street, Haslemere, which he described as a “serious public health hazard”.
Cllr Terry Weldon (Lib Dem, Critchmere) was contacted by a resident who reported ankle-deep sewage flowing down steps on to the public footpath leading to Lower Street from Waitrose car park.
Thames Water was first contacted in the early hours of Saturday morning but did not respond for almost 40 hours, according to Cllr Weldon.
When Thames Water eventually arrived, it found a fat ball blocking the sewer and removed it overnight on Sunday into Monday morning.
However, Cllr Weldon criticised the company for not cleaning up the detritus left behind, which included condoms and tampons.
He said: “What bothers me about the entire saga is Thames Water’s lack of interest in attending a serious public health hazard. We’ve heard a lot recently about the water companies polluting our rivers without real consequences. Now they are showing the same lack of concern about polluting our footpaths.”
A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We were made aware of a sewer leak on Saturday, March 11 at The Wells in Haslemere. Our engineers attended to investigate on Sunday, March 12 and found a blockage containing fats, oils and grease. This was cleared straight away with the area being cleaned up on Monday, March 13.
“Since then, we’ve received additional blockage reports, so we’ve put measures in place to mitigate against this.
“We are currently undertaking thorough sewer cleans and investigations around The Wells, to help keep our pipes flowing. Customers can also help us prevent blockages, by only flushing the three Ps – pee, poo and paper.”