Furious residents are facing a deluge of raw sewage which gushes in an “open sewer” behind their homes attracting rats.
They say life on the road in Crowborough, Kent, has been a nightmare for two months after a storm drain filled up with foul-smelling waste.
Corrine Smith says the smell on Nevill Road is so bad it’s attracting rats and she can’t bear to be in her garden.
She told KentLive : “We can’t go anywhere near it at the moment – not when there’s sewage in it.
“You can go out for two minutes but you have to come back in because of the stench.
“It’s doing our heads in – it’s just not on to have an open sewer.”
She says the street has been plagued by the issue for almost two months but efforts to raise this with authorities have been ignored.
At first, she thought it was a dead animal, Corrine said.
She continued: “I didn’t really pay that much attention to it at first but I couldn’t sit in the back of my garden because of the stench.”
But after posting it on her neighbourhood group chat, she found that it wasn’t just her that had noticed it.
Corrine told KentLive: “Everyone piped up and said ‘yes we can’ – and then we had a really bad storm.
“It went away for a day or two, and then it was back with a vengeance.
“There’s a lady who’s at the top of the lane – and she’s had this going on for years.
“I mean I’ve lived there for 25 years and I’ve never smelt it before two months ago.”
The responsibility for storm drains lies with the local water company which is Southern Water.
Corrine has contacted the firm, but is yet to receive confirmation of what the issue is.
She said: “The last week or so they’re saying it’s coming from a shop that’s up the road – a fish and chip shop – and that everything’s being put down the storm drain because of a misconnection.
“We heard from the environmental agents today saying that they’re trying to find out what’s happened to resolve it but on the other hand, Southern Water are saying they can’t even find any record of the issue.”
Southern Water has been approached for comment.