Our £900k dream home is worthless after being flooded with raw SEWAGE – it's happened twice now, we're at our wit's end | The Sun

Our £900k dream home is worthless after being flooded with raw SEWAGE – it's happened twice now, we're at our wit's end | The Sun

A COUPLE'S £900,000 dream home has become "worthless" after it was flooded with raw sewage – they say it's happened twice now.

Helen, 42, and husband Ashley Northway, 43, are at their wits end after their 17th century farmhouse was submerged in murky water after rain hammered the UK last week.

Despite spending £230k on flood defences, the six-bed in Raunds, Northants, has been struck multiple times because it sits in a natural dip.

A faulty sewage pipe added to the stress causing foul waste to sweep through the family home and make everyone ill.

The couple, their 10-month-old daughter Evelyn, 10-year-old son Archie and Helen's grandma June, 89, all got chest infections after being exposed to the harmful water.

Recruitment manager Helen said: "We are all very sick now.


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"All five members of my household had to be assessed by an emergency doctor and prescribed antibiotics for chest infections, following exposure to the raw sewage, and thereafter chemicals to treat it.

"My husband has been coughing up blood.

"With vulnerable people including my elderly grandmother and young baby being affected with chest infections, I am not willing to allow this to drag on as there is serious risk to health, let alone the property damage."

The couple bought the house back in 2017 before spending £200k converting the 380-year-old building.

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But say it is now "worthless" and claim they would now be unable to sell it due to extensive damage.

Helen added: "Before we bought the house, there had been two floods in 100 years but since we moved in, there have been two in three years.

"Every time it rains, we know we are at serious risk of being flooded out. It means we cannot leave the house.

"We have had to cancel holidays, attending funerals, even our honeymoon was cut short so we could come back and pump out water.

"We have spent a lot of money converting the house and what we have now is a nigh on £1million house which we were hoping to leave to our children but is now a massive life-long problem.

"During the latest floods, my grandmother was so distressed she was crying and crying and saying 'I want to be dead, I want to be dead'.

"It's horrific. There's a threat to human health – mental and physical.

"We are uninsurable for floods now. The house has been valued at between £850,000 and £900,000 but it's worthless now.

"We've worked all our lives, my husband has served the country but what are our children going to be left with?"

A new 400-home development is also adding pressure to the drainage system in the area, says Helen.

She said: "The drains here can't cope already and now we've got 400 houses adding to that pressure.

"I can see rain water sweeping down the road from the new estate which collects right outside our house.

"It doesn't take much more rainfall to send it spilling into our home."

The mum-of-two said they have had to have drain specialists Drainline out over 20 times in the last year to help.

She said: "It takes them two hours and I estimate it costs £2,000 a time coming out of taxpayers' money.

"The flooding is worse than it's ever been."

Ashley, a veteran army bomb disposal expert with the Royal Engineers, said he has nightmares about the floods.

He said: "I've served all over the world but I only have nightmares about the floods. It's having an effect on us all."

The family have been in regular contact with Tom Pursglove, Conservative MP for Corby and East Northants.

He said: "Any new development must take flooding risk fully into account and any mitigation schemes must be sufficiently robust to address it."

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A North Northants Council spokesman added: "Investigations are ongoing due to the cause of flooding to the property."

Drainline have been approached for comment.

What are my rights if my home floods?

According to Citizens Advice, if your home floods with sewage water you should not go home until it's deemed safe by emergency services.

And if you can't stay in your home, your insurance company might be able to find you temporary accommodation or reimburse you.

It is advised you ask your insurance company to provide you with a timetable for the repairs and an estimate of when you'll be able to go back to your home.

If you're older or disabled, you should be provided with accommodation that meets your needs – for example, wheelchair-accessible doorways.

You can find out more information here.

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