• Novel sanitary arrangements for Feniton residents

    23rd November 2012 | News | Claire
  • Two mornings ago, I received an early phone call: It was my neighbour in The Burlands. The sewer was rising up her pipes and threatening to engulf her carpets, as it does mine when we have heavy rain.  I checked.  It wasn’t, but that was only because I hadn’t, unlike my neighbour, flushed yet.

    I was extremely grateful for the warning as sewer-soaked carpets has become a feature of life for many in Feniton and one in which I do not wish to share. I have, on a number of occasions, watched anxiously as the level of the sewer has risen up my internal pipes and threatened to spew its vile contents over my woollen carpets. 

    I looked out of my bay window. There it was: the sewer.  It was flooding my garden yet again. I phoned every department I could think of to ensure they knew about the problem we have in Feniton. Everyone was very sympathetic, but they were short staffed as their employees were stuck in floods and the skeleton staff were inundated with calls for help. 

    I was impressed how quickly two workers from Devon Highways turned up at my door and said they would try to help. They hauled off the man-hole cover and there was the sewer: lapping its brown contents round the base of the cover.

    They did all they could, but to no avail. It was seriously blocked. After further investigation, they found that there was a major problem further down Ottery Road…….again……..and they could not help further. After a few words of advice, they drove off leaving about fifty people on The Burlands without a functioning loo between them.

    I phoned SWW and spoke to a concerned woman who was most sympathetic to our plight. I expressed my opinion about the further building using our over-stretched sewer system. SWW’s employee agreed with me and said they are not accustomed to their warnings concerning further development being ignored. She said she thought the developers’ success to be decidedly ‘odd’. I agreed. Very ‘odd’!. However, they would send out some help when they could………..meanwhile, we had no loos.

    I phoned the Council again. Buckets were the answer I was told and would I notify the neighbours of our new sanitary arrangements. If the bucket solution dragged on for too long we could be supplied with portaloos outside The Burlands.

    So, I trailed round the neighbourhood introducing myself to some people whom I had never even seen before to discuss their most basic functions with them and to inform them they had to use………………..a bucket. If they flushed their loos it would either cascade over their floors or my garden. (It is fascinating to see what people flush down their loos…….the evidence has been wrapped round my roses and fences on a number of occasions. )

    Some asked me what would they do with the contents when the bucket became……………full. The answer, I thought, was obvious: we would slap a firm lid on the contents and drive in convoy up to The Knowle, and line them up outside the Planning Offices.

    Perhaps the developers intent on ruining our village would like to add the above novel sanitary arrangements to their brochures as they will certainly become a regular feature of life in Feniton if the crazy idea of covering our lovely village with concrete goes ahead. It isn’t bad news for everyone, of course: 

    Spar would do a lucrative line in…………………………..buckets.

    Photograph taken by John Masters, Feniton Parish Council:  Feniton Gardens awash with floodwater, on Wednesday 21 November.