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Thursday, November 18, 1999 Published at 11:59 GMT

UK: Wales

Villagers fume at delay over sewage problem

Villagers have waited 14 years for Welsh Water to take action

South Wales villagers are fuming about a 14-year delay in dealing with sewage problems.

Thirty-one families in Nelson near Caerphilly in south Wales, claim they have been waiting since 1985 for Welsh Water to improve their overloaded sewage system.

Anne Blackman, an Independent councillor on Caerphilly County Borough Council, said the situation has become desperate.

Raw sewage

She claimed that raw sewage regularly flooded into people's homes and that the problem was often worse during wet weather.

She said she had papers and plans which showed that Welsh Water identified that improvement work was needed as far back as 1985, but nothing had been done to improve the situation.

As well as writing to Welsh Water, she had taken the matter up with Bro Taf Health Authority, Caerphilly Council's environmental health department and the local MP Ron Davies.

No guarantees

But Welsh Water spokesman Martin Watkins said the company was waiting for a statement from water regulator Ofwat before deciding its next five-year improvement programme.

He added that there were no guarantees that Nelson would be included in the programme.

A decision is expected later this month and if Nelson is included, work could begin in April 2000.

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