Thames Water slams 'irresponsible concrete sewer abuse'

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Concrete filled sewer in Southwark

This is the mineshaft Thames Water had to dig under Hanover Park in order to replace the concrete-filled length of sewer


Thames Water is having to dig out 10 metres of concrete poured into a sewer in Peckham, London.

The "selfish and irresponsible" actions of an unknown rogue builder in Hanover Park have been slammed as "a complete waste of time and money" by Britain's biggest water company. The work, three metres deep, is also causing traffic disruption to motorists in the area.

Thames Water spokesman Stuart White said: "Normally blockages are caused by fat, oil and wet wipes building up in the sewer but unfortunately in this case it's concrete, so we can't jet it through. It's in there and it's set to the pipe, so we need to remove the pipe and replace it with a new one.

"This is very frustrating, a complete waste of our time, and not the first time damage has been caused by people pouring concrete into our sewers. After fixing the problem, we will investigate and then reclaim the costs from whoever is responsible."

Sewer abuse increases the risk of blocked sewers, which leads to thousands of people's homes flooding with sewage every year.

White added: "Sewers are designed to take only loo roll, dirty water and human waste. Nothing else. Our message is to 'Bin in – don't block it'."

Every year Thames Water, serving 15 million people in London and the Thames Valley, spends a million pounds a month clearing fatbergs and blockages in its 68,000 miles of sewers.