RAF Marham households kick up a stink about raw sewage
PUBLISHED: 16:00 11 March 2011
Archant Â© 2010
Families living at RAF Marham have been hit with raw sewage pouring into their gardens on a regular basis, it has been revealed.
Large amounts of fat have been blocking drains around the West Norfolk base and sparking health risks for serving personnel, their partners and their children.
One RAF Marham resident, who asked to remain anonymous through fear of her husband being reprimanded, said: “When the drains are blocked we have raw sewage coming into our garden through a manhole and then we have the smell coming up through the house sinks and toilets.
“Other people have to wash up in the upstairs bathroom as their kitchen sinks are not useable. Sewage has also been known to leak up through the man holes on the pavement opposite the children’s play area.
“Every time this happens it not only puts my family’s health at risk but it must also cost thousands of pounds to call out the tanker to unblock the drains.
“In the 12 months we have been here, we have had the tanker come out to us four times but I see it out every couple of weeks at other homes nearby.
“At a time when RAF jobs and bases are being cut and closed due to funding, money is being thrown away on something that could be easily fixed.”
The mother-of-one has now contacted the environmental health department at West Norfolk Council in a bid to resolve the situation.
She continued: “We have got a son and dogs but we can’t let them use the garden or even have the back door open because of the sewage.
“We want to move to another house that doesn’t have a man hole in the garden but so far our application hasn’t been approved.
“It is insulting to let RAF families live with raw sewage in their gardens. No one should have to be made to live like this and I think it’s disgusting that we are.”
A spokesman for the MOD confirmed it has been carrying out investigations of the site with contractors C2C Services.
A C2C Services spokesman said it was aware of problems with “regular blockages” on one of the main sewers at the RAF base.
The spokesman said: “We responded to these blockages by carrying out further investigations which have identified that there are large amounts of fat in the sewer which are causing it to block.
“We have arranged for the sewers to be cleaned using a high pressure water jetting machine, this is programmed to start next week and will take around three days to complete.
“Our area manager has also raised the issue of disposing of liquid fat into the sewerage system with RAF Marham and agreed to distribute a guidance leaflet highlighting the problems that this causes and alternative methods of fat disposal to the site in the near future.
“We will continue to respond to any problems reported and will monitor the success of the cleaning work and the awareness campaign.”