Flooding in Clayhall homes down to dumped car seat and collapsed drain pipe

Car Seat

A car seat has been uncovered as part of maintenance work undertaken to find out the cause of persistent flooding in Clayhall. - Credit: Sue Hurry

The cause of a blockage which has caused persistent flooding in Clayhall has been revealed.

A car seat was uncovered following emergency maintenance work prompted by homes in The Glade flooding three times in under a week.

The Recorder first spoke to residents Sue Hurry and Abdul Waheed after the first incident on January 29, which saw the London Fire Brigade (LFB) pumping water out for five hours in three adjoining properties.

Sue said they experienced further issues the following day, before a third incident took place on February 4.

On each occasion rainwater - which would ordinarily be contained by a ditch - poured in from Claybury Woods (behind the properties).

However, because the ditch was overgrown residents lost that protection.

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On the first occasion, Sue faced around two and a half feet of water, with neighbour Abdul around six inches. Three homes were affected.

On February 4, this had risen to three ft and one ft respectively, with the LFB unable to pump the water due out to the flood risk posed to other properties. This incident affected five properties, which - unlike the previous instances - were also flooded by sewage water.

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Sue told the Recorder: "We were taking showers at 1 and 2 in the morning because we had our feet in it."

Both Sue and Abdul felt clearing the overgrown ditch would reveal the underlying problem, with Abdul adding it is meant to be done by the council twice a year.

Redbridge Council leader Cllr Jas Athwal visited the site on Friday, February 5 as pumps were set up to drain the ditch. 

On that day a spokesperson told the Recorder the council believed the flooding was caused by "a collapsed drain pipe that carries water from a ditch to a sewer".

Once the pumps cleared the water from the ditch, an engineer was able to reach the collapsed pipe. 

Sue said that once the ditch was empty a car seat was found wedged in a grate; once removed, "the water in the ditch ran away and they haven't had to use the pump since".

The council has since confirmed this to be the cause of the blockage.

Sue is hopeful that this spells an end to the problem, though can't be sure "until we get heavy rain".

A letter outlining the above was sent to residents on Friday. 

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