Elderly woman left for days with sewage flooding into her home

Doreen Jackson at her home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180625-114955008
Doreen Jackson at her home in Eastbourne (Photo by Jon Rigby) SUS-180625-114955008

An elderly woman was left for four days with sewage flooding her home.

Doreen Jackson said excrement was coming out of her bath and lavatory and spilling onto the floor and through to her hallway for days in her housing association flat in Old Town.

The 80-year-old was forced to use a bucket to go to the toilet and could not wash or access water.

She said, “I think it’s disgusting the way I’ve been treated. It’s just not on. I was in tears. There was excrement which came up from the toilet and bath. It made me feel sick the smell of it. I couldn’t eat because of the smell.”

Mrs Jackson said she called South East Water when the problem emerged but was advised to go through Stonewater.

She said she called the housing association dozens of times and a number of plumbers said the main drainage pipe which runs through the building in Kingsmere Court had been blocked. The issue wasn’t fixed for days.

She said, “I’m a war baby and I have gone back to a worse time than then – at least we had an outside loo. It was almost going back to the dark ages. It’s left me shaky.”

The mother, who suffers mobility problems and heart issues, said Stonewater had offered to clean the hallway carpet which was drenched with sewage.

But Mrs Jackson said, “I don’t want it deep cleaned, I want a new carpet but they said I would have to claim on the insurance. It wasn’t my fault in the first place. I don’t think I’m unreasonable asking for a new carpet for the hallway when it’s had human waste on it. It seemed nobody cared. It was phone call after phone call.”

A Stonewater spokesperson said, “It is clear in this case we fell short of our usual high standards and offer our sincere apologies. Unfortunately, miscommunication led to an unacceptable delay in resolving the problem with the plumbing. The issue has now been fixed and our contractor will be carrying out cleaning and remedial repairs of the affected areas, including replacing the carpet and making a compensation payment to Ms Jackson for the inconvenience caused.”