The Brits know how to see in the New Year... and this wasn't it!
Seeing out 2018, Severn Trent Water, the Regional Sewer and Water Authority in the West-Central UK had just one more emergency on their hands! At around 10am on New Years' Eve the town of Cannock, Staffordshire was home to the last sewer overflow of 2018, a 300ft-long river of untreated sewage, FOG and excrement flowing down the street outside the Aldi grocery store as shoppers grabbed their last minute supplies. Shopper Jane Meadows, 40, said:
"It was absolutely disgusting. I’d driven to Aldi to pick up a few bits and bobs for a New Year’s Eve buffet but I had to drive straight out the car park because I was gagging at the smell."
Motorists were forced to drive through the stinking mess, while shoppers were left gagging at the smell. Severn Trent Water said the sanitary sewer overflow was caused by a main sewer line becoming blocked with FOG (Fats Oils & Grease) and "Flushable" wipes.
Father Peter Weatherby, 60, a priest at the nearby Parish of Saint Mary and St Thomas More Church, recounted the grim scene:
"I was in my house and could smell a foul stench. When I went outside I could smell it straight away. It was a strong smell – similar to the countryside and manure. It (the sewage) was running for about an hour-an-a-half until anyone came to investigate it. It was this yellow gunky liquid that had bits in it. It was just horrendous.
"I think it was affecting the whole road as the social club next door to the Aldi was having problems with their toilets – they kept backing up. It is a health hazard not just for the drivers but also people walking down the road."
Severn Trent Water were bringing in heavy jetting equipment to clear the blockage in the sewer line and will be investigating the causes further.