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Hackney Council apologises after pensioner's flat floods with sewage 10 times in six months

PUBLISHED: 09:00 16 May 2019

 William Ogarra's flat has been flooded with sewage 10 times in the past six months. Picture: Joshua Thurston

William Ogarra's flat has been flooded with sewage 10 times in the past six months. Picture: Joshua Thurston

Joshua Thurston

A pensioner whose flat has flooded with sewage 10 times in the past six months is at his wits' end, and imploring Hackney Council to sort out the problem once and for all.

 William Ogarra's flat has been flooded with sewage 10 times in the past six months. Picture: Joshua Thurston William Ogarra's flat has been flooded with sewage 10 times in the past six months. Picture: Joshua Thurston

Each time William Ogarra's toilet in Queensbridge Court, Kent Street in Haggerston has overflowed, it has ruined his home.

But each time, he says, council staff turn up and plunge the blockage without making any attempt to fix the toilet or the pipes.

Mr Ogarra, 75, who had previously lived there for 20 years without issue, says he is then left to clean it up himself each time, despite having a bad back which makes this painful.

He told the Gazette: "When it flooded the first time it was terrible. I have four rooms - the toilet, bathroom, kitchen, living room - and a passage, and everything was flooded.

"I was just here sitting and I got up to go to the toilet and when I went outside I was walking in sewage.

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"I hadn't heard anything warning me that was going to happen."

He added: "I can tell now when it's going to do it again, because I can hear the bubbling, so I know and I call the council right away and tell them it's going to happen again, and then it comes over."

Although Mr Ogarra asks the council to help clean up, he claims it can be three days before they send anyone out.

"Then I'm living for three days with the smell and everything," he said.

"I have to clean it up myself, but I have to be sitting every five minutes when I clean up."

A council spokesperson said on Tuesday: "We are sorry about the difficulties caused by the flooding in Mr Ogarra's home and, while we have visited his home to fix these issues, unfortunately this has not prevented them re-occurring.

"We have again attended today and have now arranged for the toilet cistern to be replaced and the pan to be descaled, which we expect to fully resolve the problems."

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