Two Chorleywood families have complained about Thames Water and Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) for failing to fix the streets’ surface water drainage problems.
The issue started in September 2019 and it affects the corner of Wyatts Road and Chess Way in Chorleywood.
Neighbours Natalie Stack and Jayne Morgan spoke to ChorleywoodNews about it.
Jayne said: “The problem is not limited to the rain falling on our properties. It is the rainwater flowing downhill from the length of Wyatts Road that is not draining away due to a blockage and is running into our properties at the bottom of the hill.
“In September 2019 during heavy rain, the drains in the road outside our houses became blocked and the surplus water flowed down our drives and into our houses. Thames Water/Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) attended our emergency call.
“Following this the underground system was drained of water and, we were told, unblocked. We all thought at the time that the problem was solved.”
HCC and Thames Water have been contacted on a number of occasions. Thames Water maintain that this is a Hertfordshire Council responsibility and Hertfordshire Council that it is Thames Water responsibility.
After many months of Natalie and Jayne chasing both parties, they came to understand in June that the problem is due to a collapsed drain under the M25.
Jayne continued: “In mid June there was a heavy storm which resulted in a torrent of water at the back and front of our properties. Our garden became a lake. The drain cover in the road at the front of our house was blown open by the force of water.
“Fortunately the water did not get into the main part of our house, only our garage and garden. Our neighbours in Chess Way were not as fortunate and some water got into the main part of their property and their garden is in a bad way.”
Natalie also spoke to us about her experience, she said: “Nobody’s putting up their hand to say this is our territory and we will work to fix it.
“It’s causing us a lot of stress because you’d be lying in bed at night, hearing the rain and all you can do is think if we need to go out with sandbags or not.
“I can’t live with a sandbag wall in front of my house, we have two cars that have to be on the drive, you got food shopping, four kids at home and this is just ridiculous in this day and age.”
A Thames Water spokesperson said: “Following an investigation by our engineers, we established that the problem is with a collapsed surface water sewer. Rainwater and other runoff enters this sewer from roadside gullies as opposed to properties and therefore the sewer is not the responsibility of Thames Water.
“We’ve been in contact with Hertfordshire Council who are arranging their own survey of the sewer to confirm this and they will then fix any issues found. We’ll also offer them any help needed for their investigation.”
A HCC spokesperson instead said: “Our Highways team have been in contact with Highways England this week as they will be soon undertaking a CCTV survey of their section that runs under the M25. We also hope to carry out a survey from the east side of the M25 via chambers previously used by Thames Water.
“This issue has arisen from two collapses, one of which will be looked at by Highways England and the other of which has occurred in a residential property on Wyatt’s Road, as proved by a Thames Water survey. A line which remains a Thames Water asset has collapsed. As the owner of this asset, it is Thames Water’s responsibility to fix the broken section and rectify the issue.”