Wet winter lands Thames Water with £4.5m sewage flood bill

Thames Water has had to spend £4.5 million tackling sewage floods this winter after heavy rainfall left the ground waterlogged.

The water company said it is experiencing problems across its network and is pumping waste out of sewers to prevent homes and businesses flooding with sewage. 

Thames said heavy rainfall last year left rivers full and the ground like a “soaked sponge” with no additional capacity to absorb further rainfall. In some cases water had run directly into sewers designed to take only wastewater from homes and businesses, putting the network under pressure. 

Tankers have been deployed permanently at sites including Lambourn Valley, Berkshire and Chilton and Playhatch in Oxfordshire to remove excess water. 

Sustainability director Richard Aylard said: “While we recognise that having tanker lorries running 24/7 is not ideal, particularly on narrow country lanes, right now this is the only way to stop some of our customers’ properties flooding with wastewater from our overloaded sewers. 

“We will continue tankering in the areas worst affected for as long as is necessary.”