Pub closure anger as sewage blocks pipes
firstname.lastname@example.org A landlord whose business was closed for three weeks because of blocked pipes is calling for answers from a “nightmare” water company
Tom Dixon took over the Tickled Trout in Wye about four months ago, and also owns the George Hotel in Ashford High Street and The Albion in Newtown.
Mr Dixon, 40, says the pub closed on New Year’s Day because the toilets had been blocked up with sewage since Boxing Day. It finally reopened on Tuesday.
He said: “It’s been an absolute disaster. All the staff have been sat at home waiting, without any income, and my cash flow has completely run out.
“The toilets were backed right up with sewage and we can’t expect our customers to put up with that.
“I’m having to defer on payments to my suppliers, as I’ve lost pretty much a month’s income. We’re talking tens of thousands of pounds.”
Mr Dixon claims that a nearby sewage pump, owned by Southern Water, is responsible for the unhygienic conditions at the premises.
But he says that the company’s handling of the situation stinks almost as much as the clogged up loos.
He added: “Southern Water has been a complete nightmare. It’s been a catalogue of inconsistent stories.
“I’ve had seven or eight people come out from the company, and they’ve all told me something different.
“Some have admitted that there’s been a problem, but others have told me that the pumping station is working properly. Everyone seems to have a different story.
“But we’ve had engineers out who say there’s definitely a problem.”
A spokesman for Southern Water said: “This situation has been exacerbated by the incessant rain over recent weeks which has led to extremely high groundwater levels.
“When the water table rises excessively, it can infiltrate the sewers, lifting manhole covers and backing up toilets.
“We have made some adjustments at our nearest pumping station which should help reduce the risk.
“However, the pub occupies a low spot in the catchment so water naturally gravitates towards it, making the situation challenging.”
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