‘The stench goes into my bedroom’: Desperate family plagued by overflowing drain call on housing association to finally fix it

Camden Town Hall

A despairing family is calling for work to be done to sort out problems with a smelly overflowing drain at their town centre flat – months after they raised the issue with Clarion housing association bosses.

The family, who live in Fitzrovia, said they have been plagued waste material overflowing from drains at a five-storey block of homes on their street.

They have to clear up pungent waste including sewage and wipes from their back garden.

The desperate family went to Camden Council’s housing scrutiny committee last November, when housing association bosses were quizzed about performance.

Their ward councillor Adam Harrison had previously taken up the case and suggested it was a good opportunity to raise it with Clarion bosses.

A surveyor visited after that meeting and the family, who do not want to be named, were told CCTV cameras would be put down the drain to try and pinpoint the problem, but this had not happened.

Cllr Adam Harrison has been supporting the family. Photograph: Camden Council

A week after the surveyor’s visit the family had to deal with yet another problem with the drains.

It recurred in February and the family called out Clarion’s emergency team to deal with it.

Cllr Harrison contacted Clarion again and suggested a senior officer should be “really hovering over this and not letting go of it until it is finally resolved”.

The family’s father said he is fed up with having to live with the smelly nuisance.

“It happens three or four times a year,” he said. “I think the pipes are broken or not big enough.

“It does not help when the stench goes into my bedroom, we can’t use that space.”

He has had to spend a lot of time and money buying chemicals, disinfectant and cleaning equipment and said he was concerned about the impact on the family’s health.

A Clarion Housing spokesperson said: “We apologise for the inconvenience our residents have experienced. It has taken longer than expected to resolve the issue and we are reviewing our process to make sure our residents are provided the best service.

“When the drainage overflow was reported in November, we immediately arranged for a visit from our surveyor who had a specialist clear the drain. We received further reports in December and earlier this month, so we had those blockages cleared and also arranged for a more in-depth CCTV survey to be carried out on all drainage pipework going into the buildings.”

They said they hoped work, due this week, “will identify the cause of the problem so we can take the appropriate action to make sure it is resolved fully”.

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