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Clerkenwell family in Partners for Improvement flat 'made ill' by constant smell of sewage from leaking pipe

PUBLISHED: 17:27 06 June 2019

The Gorovelli family from left mum Kirsty, grandad Gerald Ray, Arian (9), dad Petrit and Viviana (1) have had to endure disrepair issues including raw sewage outside the bedroom window that they say, has made the whole family ill. Picture: Polly Hancock

The Gorovelli family from left mum Kirsty, grandad Gerald Ray, Arian (9), dad Petrit and Viviana (1) have had to endure disrepair issues including raw sewage outside the bedroom window that they say, has made the whole family ill. Picture: Polly Hancock

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A family in Farringdon Road say communal waste left spewing out near their bedroom window for more than a month has made their children ill.

Petrit Gorovelli shows how high a pool of raw sewage reached directly outside his basement bedroom window on Farringdon Road. Polly HancockPetrit Gorovelli shows how high a pool of raw sewage reached directly outside his basement bedroom window on Farringdon Road. Polly Hancock

Petrit and Kirsty Gorovelli, plus their three boys and 18-month-old daughter, have been living with the rancid smell of sewage in their basement flat - which is council-owned but managed and maintained by Partners for Improvement in Islington (PFI).

The Gorovelli clan have been clamouring for help ever since a pipe beneath their bathroom collapsed, causing the building's waste to bubble up from the manhole just outside the couple's bedroom window.

"It stinks in the house and we don't know what to do any more," Petrit told the Gazette yesterday. "The smell is so bad my wife is sick, my daughter is sick, my son had to be taken to hospital. The smell is getting worse this week - I can't even stay inside. This is serious - we can't live in these conditions."

Kirsty added: "The waste has nowhere to go so it's regurgitating and coming up through the manhole. It's disgusting.

Petrit Gorovelli lifts the drain cover to see that the drains are still blocked and so the problem of raw sewage directly outside his basement bedroom window on Farringdon Road, might not yet be over. Picture: Polly HancockPetrit Gorovelli lifts the drain cover to see that the drains are still blocked and so the problem of raw sewage directly outside his basement bedroom window on Farringdon Road, might not yet be over. Picture: Polly Hancock

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"I have health problems and a heart condition. This is having a very bad effect on my toddler, children and my health. Every day we seem to be coming down with viruses. We are badly ill at the moment."

Thames Water engineers visited the address in early May, where they found the problem was "the private drainage system" rather than its sewer network.

Partners' contractors were sent to the house on multiple occasions between May 8 and yesterday, after the Gazette got involved, when the blockage was finally cleared.

The family claim workers had just unblocked the manhole, rather than fixing the drain. Partners, on the other hand, claims no one answered the door on some occasions due to the family being out, and says it then had to conduct a "drainage survey". After ripping up the bathroom floor yesterday, it now has to repair the damage.

A Thames Water spokesperson said it sounded like "a horrible experience", adding: "We're sorry to hear the situation hasn't been resolved. We're happy to meet with the owner to offer our expertise on how to best fix the problem so the family can get back to normal."

A Partners spokesperson said: "We are aware of the issues raised with drainage outside this property and we sympathise with the residents who have had to deal with this unpleasant matter.

"We have completed the works to fully resolve the blockage and are in the process of making good the areas."

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