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Community centre flooded with sewage for third time
A VILLAGE community centre has been forced to move or cancel several of its group activities after the basement of the building was flooded with sewage.
The incident at Middleton St George Community Centre is the third time sewage has flooded the basement in less than 12 months, causing the flooring to lift and plaster to fall off the walls.
On each occasion a sewage pipe owned by Northumbrian Water backed up in heavy rain, causing untreated sewage to flow into the building, which is used by a number of children’s and toddler groups.
Councillor Doris Jones, ward councillor and a member of the community centre committee, has accused Northumbrian Water of failing to fix the pipe and prevent the serious flooding.
Northumbrian Water has acknowledged that the sewer pipe caused the flooding, but said it was not liable for damage caused.
The company sent staff to sanitise the building and start the drying off process, but the community centre committee will have to rely on its insurance to repair the damage.
Repairs have also been made to the sewage pipe systems in Middleton St George, including the installation of a non-return valve, which it is hoped will prevent future flooding.
Coun Jones praised the work of Northumbrian Water staff sent to help with the clean-up, but said the flooding should never have happened in the first place.
She said: “The first two times it flooded we coped with it on our own but the third time was the last straw. It was beyond our ability to cope with this and we’ve had to take it out of action until the insurance comes through."
A spokesman for Northumbrian Water said: “We have a network of about 30,000km of sewer pipes across the North-East.
“In this case, a section of the sewer pipe had been partially crushed and had collapsed. The damaged section was replaced and the sewer was cleaned upstream.
“Northumbrian Water is not liable for the damage caused but as a gesture of goodwill, we arranged to help with the clean up and disinfection of the community centre’s basement.”
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