'My granddaughter slipped in human faeces after sewage was pumped into the garden'

Carol Jones pictured at her home in Keyworth
-Credit: (Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)


A Nottinghamshire grandma has been living with "vile" human waste in her garden for almost a week after sewage was pumped up out of a drain. Carol Jones said her four-year-old granddaughter slipped into a pile of excrement when they discovered the mess on Saturday, May 18.

The 71-year-old, who lives in Mount Pleasant, Keyworth, said Severn Trent was unable to come out until Friday, May 24, despite being repeatedly contacted. The water supply company said it was "very sorry" for the delay, which it blamed on a higher-than-usual number of calls.

Ms Jones was returning from a day out with her grandkids when she noticed her lawn was soaked. "My daughter said 'your home smells of poo'," she recalled.

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"I went out into the garden and the children followed me, the little four-year-old girl tripped up and slipped into what looked like a pile of mushy sludge.

"It was human excrement waste. I saw my drain was continuously pumping out a dribble of waste.

"It had run down to the patio and collected and it was vile. Every time someone nearby did something [on the toilet] there would be a little surge."

The sewage build-up meant Ms Jones was unable to use her toilet and struggled to eat because of the "astonishing" smell. She paid £265 for the issue to be sorted herself after Severn Trent originally told her it may take three days for workers to be sent out.

The investigation established the issue was being caused by a blockage in a Severn Trent manhole, Ms Jones said. Speaking to Nottinghamshire Live on Friday, she said Severn Trent had only just sent someone to clean up the mess.

An area of the lawn soaked in sewage
An area of the lawn soaked in sewage -Credit:Jones

"You feel powerless, everyone you speak to is just a phone answerer who can't really help. [I was] left fettered with human waste in my garden on a boiling hot day," she said.

"These are services you pay for all your working life, then something like this happens and they say they can't come because they are dealing with more problems." Ms Jones said her granddaughter was fine but she and the girl's mum were "beside ourselves".

A Severn Trent spokesperson said: “We understand that this has been very distressing for the whole family, and we are very sorry for how long it took for us to respond. We always aim to attend sewer flooding issues as quickly as we can, however, our teams have been dealing with a higher-than-normal volume of calls due to the wet weather.

"We have now been out to the property, carried out a full clean-up of the garden and did a full investigation on the network and everything is working as it should be.” Ms Jones described the work as a "cursory clean-up", reporting that there is still a stench.