Delabole residents angry at sewage costs

People in a North Cornwall village said they are angry at having to pay for repairs to a sewage pumping station.

About 50 people in Delabole are being forced to pay more than £88 each to fix the pumps at the private station because they keep getting blocked.

South West Water refused to adopt the station as it was not up to the standard required.

Cornwall Council said it has to pay contractors to repair them and then recoup the cost.

Forty-eight residents of Treligga Downs Road, Slate Close and Belmont Close in Delabole have to pay the repair bill.

Rod Lush, who lives in the area and is one of a number of residents who has spoken out about the bill, said: "I think it's awful that I should pay twice. I pay for my water rates which includes sewage. I don't see why I should pay again."

The developer, who was in dispute with the water company about the pumping station, went into liquidation before the station was brought up to the standard required by South West Water to adopt it.

Over the past two years the pumps have either burnt out or failed.

It is the responsibility of Cornwall Council's public health and protection staff to ensure the station keeps working.

Jason Drew, an environmental protection officer with the local authority said: "If people weren't putting things down the toilet that shouldn't be put down there, the pumping station would be working.

"Unfortunately in the meantime while it does block up and cause problems we need to make sure it does continue to work and ultimately there will be costs involved with that."

In 2016, by law, the water company has to adopt private pumping stations.

South West Water said in a statement, that if it upgraded the station it would be subsidising a commercial development from the pocket of other bills payers and there would be additional costs as well.

Residents said they had to accept that there was no way out of paying this bill and others in the future.

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