Leeds businesses’ fury after week of raw sewage flooding

Andy Turner pictured outside his business. PIC: Simon Hulme
Andy Turner pictured outside his business. PIC: Simon Hulme
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A Leeds business owner has said his site looks like “a scene from a third world country” after suspected blocked pipes have led to a flood of raw sewage “ankle-deep”.

Andy Turner of Andy Turner Motor Engineering has hit out at Yorkshire Water after the courtyard outside his unit at Wyther Lane Industrial Estate in Kirkstall has been flooded with sewage since last Tuesday.

He said repeated calls to the utility company has so far failed to have the problem rectified and it is beginning to have an impact on his business.

He said: “We’re having to drive customers’ cars through the sewage outside and into our workshop - contaminating our workshop. Customers are having to wade through raw sewage.”

He said it has repeatedly dried out and re-flooded and yesterday morning was up to five inches deep in places.

“Most of the mess is made by mushed up toilet paper but there’s also faeces and sanitary towels. It’s very smelly. When it dries out, you’re left with this thick slurry all over the yard. It’s just horrendous - like a scene from a third world country.

“It’s the stench.”

Neighbouring business Digital Plus, a graphics specialist, has seen its car park flooded with up to 12 inches of water and sewage.

Christopher Stringwell, one of the company’s directors, said yesterday: “It just seems to be going on and on.

“It’s raw sewage and other things floating around. It’s not pretty.

“We’ve not been able to get lorries in to properly unload.

“Yorkshire Water came in to try and clean up but within a few hours it had flooded again.”

He said the company’s 24 members of staff are currently managing to park elsewhere while the saga continues.

“We are suffering from business interruption when it happens.

“Once a lorry has backed in, the drivers can’t get out because there are six to eight inches of sewage around their wheels. We can’t get the forklift truck to them because then we’d contaminate the fork lift truck.

“Yorkshire Water needs to be getting the blockage cleared to stop it happening.”

He added: “I see it as we are becoming a holding tank for their sewage.

“It doesn’t seem to be getting any further than us. We are getting the bulk of it.”

Tom Phillips, customer service at Yorkshire Water said: “We would like to apologise to businesses affected be the sewer flooding on Wyther Lane industrial estate.

“Our investigations have shown it has been caused by a blocked section of sewer on Wyther Lane near Kirkstall bridge and to reduce the risk of further waste water escapes we have set up a temporary overpump operation. Our next step is to repair the damaged sewer that is causing the problems which we intend to do as quickly as possible.

“In the meantime, we are keeping customers in the area updated with progress reports and are monitoring the pumps to ensure they are operating to full capacity.”

WHAT YORKSHIRE WATER SAYS

Tom Phillips, customer service at Yorkshire Water said: “We would like to apologise to businesses affected be the sewer flooding on Wyther Lane industrial estate.

Our investigations have shown it has been caused by a blocked section

of sewer on Wyther Lane near Kirkstall bridge and to reduce the risk of further waste water escapes we have set up a temporary overpump operation. Our next step is to repair the damaged sewer that is causing the problems which we

intend to do as quickly as possible. In the meantime, we are keeping customers in the area updated with progress reports and are monitoring the pumps to ensure they are operating to full capacity.”

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