WORK to repair a collapsed sewer is keeping residents up all night as engineers are working around the clock.

Anglian Water workers have been on site in Charity Farm Chase in Billericay since April 26 desperately trying to repair the sewer which is precariously close to the main railway line linking the town and Southend Victoria.

Because it is so close to the line, workers are having to manually dig down four metres to reach the sewer, which is located in a resident’s back garden, and are also pumping gallons of sewage from beneath the house into large tanker lorries.

Residents are growing increasingly frustrated about the ongoing work.
Norma Connel, 63, of West Park Avenue, has had a temporary pipe fitted through her back garden linking the manhole in Charity Farm Chase with the sewerage tankers directly outside her home.

She said: “When we had a lot of rain the other week the sewer at the back of our garden flooded, but at the time I didn’t think anything of it. I went to work and when I came back there were suddenly all these tankers.

“They are here 24 hours a day and when two leave another two are already lined up to take over. It’s been a bit of a nightmare sleeping because the pumps are so loud. My husband has to get up for work at 5.30am so he’s been very tired. I think everyone will breath a sigh of relief when the work is finally done and they leave.

“Anglian Water sent me a lovely bouquet of flowers but that doesn’t really make up for weeks of disruption.”

One Charity Farm Chase resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s frustrating for the people who have had their back garden dug up, but the work has got to be done and it affects everyone around here. You’ve just got to let them get on with it and put up with the nuisance for a few weeks. I just hope Anglian Water stick to their promise and put everything back to how it was before the work began.”

An Anglian Water contractor, who did not want to be named, said the workmen expect to finish this week.

He added: “The hardest part is definitely getting to the sewer in the first place, and we’re nearly there now. It should only take four or five hours to carry out the actual repairs and then a few days to fill the hole back in. Hopefully the tankers will be leaving soon.

“It’s just unfortunate for the people who have had their garden dug up, but we can’t control where the problem is.”