WATER contaminated with sewage closed one of the main roads through Lancing over the weekend.
Grinstead Lane in Lancing was partially closed on Friday afternoon and fully closed on Sunday, as sewage-filled floodwater spewed up from below the street, threatening homes.
Bill Freeman of Lancing Manor South East Residents’ Network spent the weekned helping his neighbours.
“The last three days have been unbelievably frustrating for our extremely badly-affected residents in Grinstead Lane,” said Mr Freeman.
Water had been bubbling up through manholes for days before the road closure, because the sewers were inundated with surface and groundwater.
Mr Freeman described ‘tidal waves’ flowing into gardens, drives and garages along Grinstead Lane, caused by passing traffic.
Older residents were unable to leave their homes because pavements and gardens were flooded with water polluted by sewage.
Two tankers worked from 10pm on Friday to 1am the next morning to relieve the flooding but when residents awoke on Saturday, the road was still heavily flooded and the water was steadily rising.
Mr Freeman said he discovered on Saturday that the Highways contact centre was closed and the answerphone message said to ‘call either 999 or 101’.
By 3pm on Saturday, Mr Freeman said sewage had become ‘very evident’ in the street.
The following afternoon, with the road now fully closed, Southern Water tankers arrived and began pumping away what they could and sandbagging driveways.
“As per last Christmas – it was Southern Water to the rescue,” said Mr Freeman.
A spokesman for West Sussex County Council admitted there had been some ‘communications issues’ over the weekend which were being investigated.
“We mobilised our contractor Balfour Beatty on Saturday night who closed the road and informed us there were problems with Southern Water sewers surcharging,” the spokesman said.
“Southern Water are taking the water off site and over-pumping into ditches where possible.”
He added that the drainage problems had been made worse by people fly tipping in the ditches.