Mum pleads for fix after suffering 12 years of garden flooding due to overflowing sewage

A mum is pleading with water chiefs to fix her garden after dealing with 12 years of flooding caused by sewage.

Tracy Shippen, 55, moved into her home in Reay Crescent, Boldon, 12 years ago – and has been dealing with severe flooding in her garden ever since.

The flooding is caused by the disposal of fats, oils and grease by businesses, which results in sewers overflowing when there is heavy rainfall.

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After years of apparent solutions which proved unfruitful, Tracy, who lives in the house with her 28-year-old daughter, was ready to put the issue behind her last year after Northumbria Water told her the problem was fixed once and for all.

Severe flooding in Tracy's garden

During lockdown, Tracy saved up to improve the state of the garden, confident the flooding would no longer be a problem.

However, the issue quickly reappeared, which she said caused significant damage.

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“Over the years I thought it was just one of those things which seemed to happen again and again,” she said.

"Then I was told the problem was fixed, and during lockdown I had a bit of savings and decided to get some decking put down, topped it up with soil, resurfaced it and bought a shed to make it look nice, something which I’ve never been able to do before.

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Tracy Shippen, 55

Then the garden flooded again and caused damage to everything I spent money on. I just want this fixed so I know it won’t happen again.”

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A Northumbria Water spokesperson said: “We are aware of the ongoing issues in Reay Crescent, Boldon and understand how disruptive any kind of flooding is for our customers.

“One of the main factors causing this flooding is the disposal of Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) from businesses into the drains and sewer network around the area of New Road. We have recently carried out a thorough cleaning of pipes in our network and are going to continue to do this as part of a regular maintenance schedule.

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“Our FOG advisors will be going to talk to local businesses to help them understand the impact of this and help reduce the amount of FOG getting into the network.

Severe flooding in Tracy's garden
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“We hope to encourage more people to keep fats, oil and grease where they belong – in the bin.”

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