Raw sewage surrounds the home of Pontefract pensioner after sewer blocks up

A Pontefract pensioner was left marooned by piles of raw sewage after a blockage in the main sewer near his home on Mill Hill Lane.

By Julie Marshall
Monday, 4th April 2022, 11:36 am
Michael Wilson outside his Pontefract home
Michael Wilson outside his Pontefract home

Michael Wilson, aged 73, who suffers from angina was forced to jump over the disgusting mess in order to leave his house and it was more than a week later before Yorkshire Water came to clean it up.

Mr Wilson, who retired from running a health food business only last week, said: “I have a manhole cover just outside the front door and that had lifted up and there was sewage all over the front garden.

"It was flowing round the house and into the garden at the back.

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“I reported it straight away. They said it can take up to five days before they could come out.

“The blockage happened on a Tuesday and it was repaired on the Friday night.

“They promised to come back the following day to clean up my garden but no one turned up.

“The same thing happened in 2017 and they came out within hours and sorted the problem out.”

A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said. “We’re sorry for the inconvenience to our customer on Mill Hill Lane.”

A technician came out last Tuesday to remove the sewage and clean up Mr Wilson’s patio but the sandstone paving slabs were stained black.

Yorkshire Water then engaged a specialist company and they are on site today attempting a more thorough clean-up operation.

The spokesman added that Pontefract is a hotspot for this type of blockage, and want to remind customers to only flush the three Ps - pee, poo and (toilet) paper.

They added: “When other items find themselves in the sewer, it can cause a blockage that means sewage backs up and eventually escapes from a nearby manhole.”

Wet wipes are said to be one of the main culprits. Every year in Yorkshire they cause 40 per cent of sewer blockages.

They don’t break down once they’ve gone down the loo, so it doesn’t take long for thousands of wipes to completely block a sewer.