A Clarion Housing Group van parked in Whitfield Street, Fitzrovia.
Clarion Housing has failed to repair a sewer which has been overflowing for months. Photo: Fitzrovia News.

A despairing family is calling for work to be done urgently to sort out problems with a smelly, overflowing sewer at their home — months after they raised the issue with Clarion housing association bosses.

The family who live in Fitzrovia said they have been plagued by problems when waste material overflows from drains from a five-storey block of homes in their street.

They face the task of clearing up sewage and wipes from their back garden area and said the smell is making it impossible to live in part of their home.

The desperate family went to Camden Council’s housing scrutiny committee last November, when housing association bosses were quizzed about performance. Their ward councillor Adam Harrison had previously taken up the case and suggested it was a good opportunity to raise it with Clarion bosses.

A surveyor visited after that meeting and the family, who do not want to be named, were told CCTV cameras would be put down the drain to try and pinpoint the problem but this had not happened.

A week after the surveyor’s visit the family had to deal with yet another problem with the drains. Then it recurred in February and the family called out Clarion’s emergency team to deal with it.

Cllr Harrison contacted Clarion again and suggested a senior officer should “really be hovering over this and not letting go of it until it is finally resolved.”

The family’s father said he is fed up with having to live with the smelly nuisance.

“It happens three or four times a year,” he said. “I think the pipes are broken or not big enough. It does not help when the stench goes into my bedroom. We can’t use that space.”

He explained that he had had to spend a lot of time and money buying chemicals, disinfectant and cleaning equipment dealing with the waste from the drain and said he was concerned about the impact on the family’s health.

Last year a report to Camden Council’s housing scrutiny committee stated that Clarion had the worst complaint record of the four big housing associations providing homes in the borough.

A Clarion Housing spokesperson said: “We apologise for the inconvenience our residents have experienced. It has taken longer than expected to resolve the issue and we are reviewing our process to make sure our residents are provided the best service.

“When the drainage overflow was reported in November, we immediately arranged for a visit from our surveyor who had a specialist clear the drain. We received further reports in December and earlier this month, so we had those blockages cleared and also arranged for a more in-depth CCTV survey to be carried out on all drainage pipework going into the buildings.”

They said they hoped work, due this week, “will identify the cause of the problem so we can take the appropriate action to make sure it is resolved fully.”