RAW sewage left rotting for more than a fortnight in a residential area in Bromsgrove is 'getting beyond a joke', say angry locals.

The waste, said to be several inches deep in places, first seeped out on a footpath behind houses on Burcot Lane, near the old Bromsgrove council buildings, prior to Christmas.

Resident Christopher Smale said the problem is worsening with Bromsgrove District Council and Severn Trent at odds over whose responsibility it is to clear the mess up.

Mr Smale, who suffers from lung condition chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) told the Advertiser: "The footpath has been covered in effluence for two weeks now.

"Myself and a couple of neighbours have been in contact with the council and Severn Trent and we have been going back and forth with one saying the other is responsible.

"It's getting beyond a joke. I have COPD and that sort of aroma isn't exactly good for it.

"When it's cold, it's not too bad but when it starts to warm up, it's always there as a background smell.

"As well as that, we have kids playing around here - if they fall in it, what are they liable to catch?

"We're not far from a stream, it's only 50-100 metres away, what happens if it gets in there?

"I've had three assurances that it is going to be cleared and each date has come and gone - and it's still there."

Worcester News:

Severn Trent has suggested either the council or property landlords bdht (Bromsgrove District Housing Group) are responsible.

But the council insists the onus ultimately lies with the utility company - although BDC says it has worked on the sewer to try to alleviate the issues for residents.

Bromsgrove District Council's Head of Environmental Services Guy Revans said: “We’ve unblocked this sewer twice in the last seven days because we couldn’t leave it the way it was.

“However according to drainage records the sewer does in fact drain third party land, which would make it the responsibility of Severn Trent. We look forward to formally resolving this question shortly.

“Meanwhile the blockages have contained nappies and sanitary products and, as the sewer currently only serves the flats, we’re also making bdht aware as the landlord.”

A Severn Trent spokesperson, however, contradicted that statement.

He said: “We’ve been out to investigate reports of leaking sewage near Burcot Lane on a number of occasions.

"Each investigation has shown that there are no issues on our network, suggesting the cause is beyond the boundary of our network.

"It’s the responsibility of the home-owner to fix any issues on private pipes.”

Graeme Anderson, director of housing and communities at bdht, said they were aware of the issue.

He added: “We are liaising closely with Bromsgrove District Council and Severn Trent to ensure this issue is resolved promptly.

"Whilst the authorities discuss responsibility and agree a long term solution, we are keen to ensure minimal impact for our customers so over the last 24 hours [Friday/Saturday] have twice sent a team to drain the water.

"They will also be attending today (Monday) to disinfect the affected areas to remove any immediate risk."