Village pupils hit by sewage flood fears

A flooded main road in a South Staffordshire village caused chaos at a school, with pupils forced to wear plimsolls all day following fears over their shoes, which were covered in sewage and needed disinfecting by members of staff.

pattingham
The high street in Pattingham after it had flooded overnight - school kids' shoes had to be disinfected amid fears they had walked through sewage

Water levels started rising when drains became blocked at a junction in the centre of Pattingham at about 12.30am yesterday. Severn Trent engineers worked through the early hours to clear the blockages – but debris and standing water was left behind the next morning.

Youngsters turned up at St Chad’s First School with their shoes covered in dirt from the flooded roads and pavements.

Their shoes were taken off and disinfected by staff, meaning the pupils had to wear pumps and could not go outside all day.

Teachers were cleaning the floors of the school until 11am. Pattingham and Patshull Parish Council heard last night that the flooding had caused “severe disruption” to the school.

Acting chairman Mike Finch told the meeting that he reported the problem to Severn Trent in the early hours and attempted to clear the gulleys himself.

He added: “We didn’t know if the water was contaminated or contained sewage. The children haven’t been able to go outside much recently with the bad weather and this stopped them again.”

In a letter to the meeting, headteacher Sarah Yeomans said it was “ironic” that the school had managed to stay open during the heavy snowfall but was now being hit by blocked drains.

She added that dealing with the problem was “very time consuming” and a “draw on resources”.

Councillor Joan Burton said: “There wasn’t much rain that night so I can’t understand why this happened.”

Councillor Finch said engineers had confirmed the water did not contain sewage, and had built up because the drains were blocked with leaves.