Bexleyheath resident kicking up a stink over sewage workers napping in the day and keeping her up at night

A worker takes a nap in his cab in July.

Tankers parked outside Sue Hashim's home.

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , reporter

SEWAGE workers in a Bexleyheath street have been caught napping during the day while keeping residents awake until the early hours, a resident claims.

Sue Hashim has snapped contractors for Thames Water asleep in their cabs while she says the same workers are keeping her up until 3am sucking sewage and repairing blocked pipes in Belvedere Road.

The 42-year-old claims workers joked they get paid "triple time" for working at night during sets of repairs in July last year lasting six weeks, a week-long dig in January and ongoing works which began on March 15.

The dog hotel owner says she has been "driven mad" by workers talking and joking and the noise of work being done on a 15ft by 15ft hole in the road right outside her home, which has sounded "like breaking a window it’s that loud".

She said: "I am just fed up because I have got a lot of things to do in the day and I’m literally not getting up until nine or 10 as I’m so tired because I’m not getting to sleep until about two or three in the morning.

"The noise has driven me mad and it’s quite depressing to be honest."

On one occasion, Ms Hashim says she saw a young boy who looked like one of the contractor’s sons spending time with his Dad onsite while work was going on.

She added "It’s not their fault and they are alright blokes but one guy we spoke to was very proud of the fact they were getting this ridiculous money.

"You look out there sometimes and they aren't doing anything."

News Shopper: Sewage works

Work continues at 11.30pm on March 19. 

Thames Water response

A spokeswoman for Thames Water said: "We're really sorry for the disruption caused by the essential work we are doing on the sewer under the ground in Belvedere Road.

"This has been causing problems for a number of months and we are having to use tankers to protect a property from the very real risk of sewer flooding.

"Our investigations are ongoing and we are doing more CCTV surveys next week to determine exactly what repairs need to be done but each time the sewer blocks, we are having to use tankers to remove the flows to prevent flooding.

"We categorically reject any claim that our contractors are doing this at night to make more money, or that they are sleeping on the job.

"The picture shows a driver who was on stand-by taking a break, and the contract is based on a flat-rate regardless.

"Our engineers are working as hard as they can to get this job sorted as quickly as possible and we are trying to work with minimal disruption to customers.

"Sewer flooding is an utterly horrendous experience which is exactly why we are trying to prevent this happening."

Comments (10)

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12:33pm Fri 22 Mar 13

hereallweek says...

My first thoughts were he was on his break and then I read that the company say "The picture shows a driver who was on stand-by taking a break, and the contract is based on a flat-rate regardless". So, unless their response is a pack of lies this story has no basis. He was on his break so can nap if he wants as he isn't being paid, and the company are not deliberately aiming to work at night because their fee is a flat rate for the job.
My first thoughts were he was on his break and then I read that the company say "The picture shows a driver who was on stand-by taking a break, and the contract is based on a flat-rate regardless". So, unless their response is a pack of lies this story has no basis. He was on his break so can nap if he wants as he isn't being paid, and the company are not deliberately aiming to work at night because their fee is a flat rate for the job. hereallweek
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Fri 22 Mar 13

hereallweek says...

In short, the sewage worker wasn't taking the pee........
In short, the sewage worker wasn't taking the pee........ hereallweek
  • Score: 0

3:22pm Fri 22 Mar 13

Gypo.Joe says...

No one likes a grass Sue Hashim.
No one likes a grass Sue Hashim. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: 0

12:10am Sat 23 Mar 13

Brook says...

If Sue didn't flush her sanitary materials and dog waste down the bog the sewer wouldn't have got blocked.
Bin it don't flush it
If Sue didn't flush her sanitary materials and dog waste down the bog the sewer wouldn't have got blocked. Bin it don't flush it Brook
  • Score: -1

10:43am Sat 23 Mar 13

gunner1740 says...

HGV drivers by law have to have a statutory 45 minute break after driving for 4. 5 hours or a 30 minute break after combined work of 6 hours. Taking pictures of somebody doing nothing wrong with the suggestion they are is just presumptuous Sue Hashim !!!! As previously commented " nobody likes a grass". If you are going to snitch, trying to get someone in trouble then make sure you know what you are talking about !!!!!
HGV drivers by law have to have a statutory 45 minute break after driving for 4. 5 hours or a 30 minute break after combined work of 6 hours. Taking pictures of somebody doing nothing wrong with the suggestion they are is just presumptuous Sue Hashim !!!! As previously commented " nobody likes a grass". If you are going to snitch, trying to get someone in trouble then make sure you know what you are talking about !!!!! gunner1740
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Sat 23 Mar 13

mouthalmighty says...

I'm backing sue hashim on this one. When I visit friends, they're always parked up for more than 2 hrs at a time. They have their hiding places. Nasty mouths and attitude on 'em too.
I'm backing sue hashim on this one. When I visit friends, they're always parked up for more than 2 hrs at a time. They have their hiding places. Nasty mouths and attitude on 'em too. mouthalmighty
  • Score: 0

8:55am Sun 24 Mar 13

Locked an Loaded says...

Those mighty Sewers again lol! true ledg down the south coast those Sewers.. keep the flag flying! he he he
Those mighty Sewers again lol! true ledg down the south coast those Sewers.. keep the flag flying! he he he Locked an Loaded
  • Score: 0

3:08pm Sun 24 Mar 13

Harold_Monk says...

Simple. Pay them less for night work - soon be finished!
Simple. Pay them less for night work - soon be finished! Harold_Monk
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Wed 27 Mar 13

BeePositive says...

This woman is pathetic! If she had a proper job like the rest of us then she wouldn't have the option to get up at 9 or 10am.
And how dare she insult a man who is trying to teach his child the way of life and give him real life working experiences.
I'm sure the man 'napping' was simply resting his head for 5 seconds as he was hard at work, and Sue was spying on him all day for the opportune moment to take a picture. Get a life you nasty woman!
This woman is pathetic! If she had a proper job like the rest of us then she wouldn't have the option to get up at 9 or 10am. And how dare she insult a man who is trying to teach his child the way of life and give him real life working experiences. I'm sure the man 'napping' was simply resting his head for 5 seconds as he was hard at work, and Sue was spying on him all day for the opportune moment to take a picture. Get a life you nasty woman! BeePositive
  • Score: 0

6:05pm Wed 3 Apr 13

Al.243 says...

My mother lives in Belvedere Rd & the works Ms Hashim has complained so vehemently about, & taken the time to photograph, were NOT actually outside her house as she has stated - simply because they were DIRECTLY OUTSIDE my mother's house at the time.

These workmen have been nothing but polite & courteous to my mother; to the extent that they have even helped to see off her driveway when temp traffic lights were in place right outside her house.

They explained at the time that these works are essential - as they are connected to the drains outside the Yacht Public House in Long Lane (where there have also been roadworks & traffic lights) & the current problems have actually resulted in local residents having raw sewage being "backlogged" up through showers & wash-basins.

So if Ms Hashim doesn't object to showering in raw sewage, I would think her "complaints" are completely justified....

As far as her "photographic evidence" is concerned - every employee is legally entitled to a certain number of breaks within a certain number of hours work, which is exactly what these workmen were doing at the time: taking their legally required break.

From what I understand - because of Ms Hashim's complaints, the working hours on these essential works have now been limited to day-time only. Which in turn means local residents will have to "put up" with the works for a much longer time as they are only "permitted" to work in daylight hours.

Happy Sewer-Showering Ms Hashim.
My mother lives in Belvedere Rd & the works Ms Hashim has complained so vehemently about, & taken the time to photograph, were NOT actually outside her house as she has stated - simply because they were DIRECTLY OUTSIDE my mother's house at the time. These workmen have been nothing but polite & courteous to my mother; to the extent that they have even helped to see off her driveway when temp traffic lights were in place right outside her house. They explained at the time that these works are essential - as they are connected to the drains outside the Yacht Public House in Long Lane (where there have also been roadworks & traffic lights) & the current problems have actually resulted in local residents having raw sewage being "backlogged" up through showers & wash-basins. So if Ms Hashim doesn't object to showering in raw sewage, I would think her "complaints" are completely justified.... As far as her "photographic evidence" is concerned - every employee is legally entitled to a certain number of breaks within a certain number of hours work, which is exactly what these workmen were doing at the time: taking their legally required break. From what I understand - because of Ms Hashim's complaints, the working hours on these essential works have now been limited to day-time only. Which in turn means local residents will have to "put up" with the works for a much longer time as they are only "permitted" to work in daylight hours. Happy Sewer-Showering Ms Hashim. Al.243
  • Score: -1

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