Wednesday 13 December 2017

'There were nappies and faeces everywhere' - Families outraged after burst water main floods homes with 'sewage'

Christopher Counihan on his mum Mary’s (inset) soaked bed after a burst water main flooded their home in Limerick
Christopher Counihan on his mum Mary’s (inset) soaked bed after a burst water main flooded their home in Limerick

David Raleigh

Residents in Limerick left homeless after their properties were flooded when a water mains burst have no idea when they will be able to move back into their houses.

Despite Irish Water stating it did "not find any evidence of sewage contamination in any of the effected properties", residents claimed human waste from local sewers was carried into their homes in the sudden flood.

Niamh Counihan, who was forced to leave her home with her partner and their eight-week-old daughter Liadh, said: "We could see toilet paper floating down the road; nappies, faeces everywhere. We were walking in it out on the road."

The water main in Kilmallock Road, Limerick City, burst at around 2.30am on Saturday, causing flooding to 10 homes.

Residents claim most of the filth was cleaned up during Saturday morning, before representatives from Irish Water arrived on scene.

Christopher Counihan had to evacuate his seriously ill mother from their home after the flood water left her stranded in her bed in the kitchen.

Mr Counihan's mother Mary (72), who has cancer, was transferred to St Camillus' Hospital after Limerick City Council stepped in to help find residents alternative accommodation.

"My mum sleeps in a hospital bed downstairs. When I heard the dog barking I ran downstairs in my bare feet and plunged into a load of water," Mr Counihan said.

"I was in a state of shock for about 10 minutes; I just didn't know what to do. I was so worried about electricity and everything else.

"It was just chaos. My mother was in a hospital bed in the kitchen where her oxygen tanks and her breathing tubes were on the floor. She was in a coma, because she is on a heavy seizure tablet for her condition.

"I couldn't wake her up to tell her what was going on."

Mr Counihan also claimed the flood water contained raw sewage.

"Sewage came in. I can smell it in the house. All the food had to be thrown out," he said.

Irish Independent

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