Concerns raised after Raphael Park flooded with sewage year after year

PUBLISHED: 17:04 25 June 2020 | UPDATED: 17:05 25 June 2020

Julia Herold of Friends of Raphael Park and Lodge Farm said that she first reported the issue in 2008. Picture: Julia Herold

Julia Herold of Friends of Raphael Park and Lodge Farm said that she first reported the issue in 2008. Picture: Julia Herold

Julia Herold

Raphael Park has been flooded with sewage for at least a fifth year running, say community park group.

Trevor Preedy, chairman of Friends of Raphael Park and Lodge Farm, said he has seen the park flood around four to five times a year after heavy rainfall for the last five.

Former chair of the group, Julia Herold, said she remembered first reporting the issue in 2008.

She said: “We have tried for many years to get this sewer sorted or sealed.

“During these Covid times and the fact the lake’s fountain is not in service makes it absolutely imperative that this issue is addressed immediately.”

Stephen Nicholas, who regularly visits the park, said: “It’s not only raw sewage but toilet paper and sanitary towels as well that flow from the drain, across approximately 15 metres of grass and path and then into the lake.

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“It seems ironic that we can’t feed bread to the water fowl but nobody seems bothered about what’s coming from the sewer and flowing directly into the lake. This must have an adverse effect on the water quality and surrounding parkland.”

He added: “When the park has hosted summer activities with live music in the bandstand and summer fetes, I saw people sitting in their deckchairs with children playing on the grass where the drain leaks are.

“How can this park be awarded green flags and awards in London in Bloom last year? I’d like to know the judges’ reaction if they’d seen what I saw!”

A spokesperson for Thames Water explained: “During periods of heavy rainfall, our sewers can be overwhelmed by more wastewater than they have capacity for and the system can get full.

“We’re sorry for the recent flooding at Raphael Park and we recognise this is unpleasant for park visitors.

“We regularly clean the sewers in the area to help prevent this from happening, should excess wastewater enter our network.”

The spokesperson added: “Our engineers visited the park on Monday and Tuesday to thoroughly clean the area and we’ve also been in touch with the council during this process.”

Thames Water have also said that sanitary towels present in the sewage cause blockages and residents are urged not to dispose of them in the toilet.

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