Residents in the small village of Hambleden were left with flooded bathrooms and no toilet facilities after the sewer system in their village struggled to cope with the amount of rainfall over the Christmas and New Year period.

Toilets in homes across the village were blocked and residents had to use public showering and bathing facilities.

One resident, Julie Roberts, said that she had to use her local gym’s showering facilities, she commented in the Henley Standard:

“Most of the houses in Hambleden have bathrooms downstairs so people couldn’t use them. The toilet bowls were full of waste water. The problem was so bad — all the drain covers were lifting because there was so much water in them.

“My partner and I were using public toilets in the car park at Hambleden Mill.”

Thames Water finally hired a tanker to pump the sludge from the drains, bringing relief to residents. However residents fear that it’s only a matter of time before the problem resurfaces and have asked for a more permanent solution to be found.

A Thames water spokesperson confirmed they had attended the problem and revealed that the excessive rain combined with a sewer blocked by fat had exacerbated the problem. The spokesperson said:

“Food fat should never go down drains because while it slips down sinks easily when warm, it cools down in our sewers and sets into hard ‘fatbergs’, which leads, in cases like this, to sewage backing up into people’s homes.

“We sympathise deeply with any of our customers who have been sewer-flooded. It is truly disgusting and we are committed to ending this problem.”

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