An emergency tanker has been pumping black sewage away from a garden stream after it threatened to spill into the River Great Ouse.
Derek and Sue Bowley, both 69, were horrified to see the ‘tar-like sludge’ flow from the drains into their pretty Buckingham garden stream.
The couple quickly phoned for help and alerted the farmer, whose field backs on to their home in Gilbert Scott Road, about the potential danger to animals.
Anglian Water said sewage seeped into the stream due to a ‘blocked private sewer’.
All week, an emergency tanker has been pumping gallons of water all day and all night from storm drains outside their home.
“It was horrendous,” Derek said. “It was making us all feel sick – the smell was that bad.
“It was raw sewage, completely black, completely contaminated.
“We had a family of frogs by the stream. It’s obviously killed them all.
“We’ve landscaped the garden because we have grandchildren, but I won’t be letting them anywhere near it now.”
Derek, who races classic cars at Silverstone, thinks the amount of new homes in the area means the drains simply ‘can’t cope’.
He thanked Anglian Water for its ‘very quick’ response, and from speaking to the technician manning the tanker, he said thick sewage means it is ‘septic’. “If you fell in something like that, it would kill you,” Derek said.
“Kids from the estate mess about in there (the stream) but you don’t want them going in at the moment.”
Sue added: “It was a black, stinking mess, like tar. I was worried about ducks and their babies and I’ve been chasing cats away so they don’t go in the stream.”
An Anglian Water spokesman said: “We are sorry for any disruption caused by the tanker use on Gilbert Scott Road. A private sewer was blocked. And to prevent flows from entering Anglian Water’s drains and a nearby ditch, we have been using a tanker to ensure it was treated properly.
“We’ve been working closely with the owner of the sewer and we understand the blockage has now been cleared. The tanker won’t be required after today (Thursday).”