Sewage problems for existing residents

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Residents in Checkbar at Marywell have expressed their anger about the drainage problems they are facing in their homes because of a nearby building site.

Many of the existing residents have noticed severe sewage problems since Barratt Homes began their 115 house “Cairnrobin” development.

The septic tanks and soakaways of the residents appear to be failing due to an increase in the water level, resulting in sewage effluent backing up and spilling in to the gardens and houses with a strong smell of sewage present.

Residents have made numerous complaints but claim no one will take charge of the situation. They recently contacted SEPA (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) who visited the site last week and in a letter from SEPA to Barratt, the Environment Protection Officer Yvonne McMurchie said: “I visited affected properties on 20 August 2012 and observed evidence of sewage effluent in the gardens and detected a smell of sewage.”

The letter went on to say: “It is possible that the groundwork carried out by Barratt at the site opposite the existing properties in Checkbar has in some way affected the drainage pathways in the area with a subsequent effect on the performance of the soakaways in that area.

In the letter, the Environment Protection Officer said that she appreciates it has been an exceptionally wet summer but the residents report that they have not encountered the problem before, even in wet wintery conditions.

One resident described the sewage as a health and safety and environmental issue and has had an Aberdeenshire Council Environmental Health Officer out to assess the situation. Councillor Carl Nelson said at Tuesdays PDCC meeting that the same problem happened in Muchalls when Barratt Homes built there. It was recommended by SEPA that Barratt carry out an assessment of the works and engage with the residents to ensure the problem is resolved.