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Families in Frith Court, Mill Hill, left with 'streams of sludge' in garden
Families were left ankle deep in a fountain of “sludge and muck” when a water main burst.
Residents of Frith Court, Mill Hill, were unable to go into their back gardens for just under a week as streams of sewage gushed from a broken pipe.
The problem began last Thursday when residents awoke to find nappies, toilet paper and other waste items floating in puddles of dirty water.
While Barnet Homes, which owns the houses, cleared up the sewage from one garden - others were still left in filth.
Jacqueline Mottershead was forced to clear the sewage from her six-year-old daughter Amber’s Wendy house and scooters, which were kept in the garden.
The 41-year-old said: “It’s depressing to have to look at that every day. It’s just piles of sludge and muck clogging up my garden.
“It even makes the house smell - I can’t even open the windows to air my house because the foul stench wafts through, it makes you want to be sick.
“It’s an added stress and really unpleasant.”
Her daughter Amber has been off school for the last three days with a cough - and Ms Mottershead is convinced there is a link.
Karen Hutchinson was horrified when she visited her parents-in-law, Florence, 89, who has breathing problems and Robert, 86, who has a prostate condition.
The couple’s family took it in turns to spend the day looking after them as both suffer from dementia and would regularly forget about the sewage.
Mrs Hutchinson, 54, said: “It was disgusting. The garden is their little haven but it just turned into a huge sewer. It’s a health hazard.
“Hygiene is of the upmost importance to them because of their health issues. It was shocking really, I can’t describe how horrific seeing all that sludge there it was.
“It smelt like toilet filth and was around half a meter deep.”
A statement from Barnet Homes said: "A call was made to our out-of-hours emergency line on the evening on Sunday. On the same evening, we sent out a plumber to fix the blockage.
"The plumber was unable to clear it and reported back that the blockage would need specialist help to do so.
"This was escalated on Monday 23 September, to our repairs contractors, Mears, who went to the property on the same day.
"They reported that manhole which was causing the blockage was covered by garden decking.
"We have to give leaseholders 24 hours notice to access their property, they gave permission and within 24 hours the contractors were able to uncover the decking which covered the blocked manhole and fixed the blockage on Tuesday 24 September by lunchtime.
"Any leakage affecting other addresses on Frith Court was also cleared."
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