Browned off over sewage in streets

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A water firm has apologised after a walk to school route was swamped with sewage for four days because of a blocked drain.

Thames Water says it took longer than expected to deal with the problem in Wingrave Road, Tring, because a manhole had been covered over.

The flow of filth started on Wednesday last week and was not stemmed by engineers, who had to dig up the road to get access to the manhole, until Saturday evening.

Patrick Storey, who lives in the road, said: “It was brown water that you don’t want to walk through to cross the road when you are walking children to school or if you are walking home from the station.”

There were fears that if the problem persisted the water, which was running into neighbouring Grove Road, would freeze over and cause an icy hazard for motorists.

A Thames Water spokesman said: “We’re really sorry for the disruption and mess this has caused and we’d like to apologise for the length of time it has taken to get the clean-up done.

“We will back out again today (Wednesday) to finish this off.

“Although this mess was caused by a blockage, it was made worse by the very high water levels from the recent heavy rain which has overwhelmed our sewer system.

“The natural drainage system – rivers and groundwater – failed to cope with the sheer volume of rain which fell in December.

“After the wettest year on record the ground is like a soaked sponge and flood waters have run into our sewers.”