Erith residents kicked up a stink last week when heavy rain caused a vile stream of raw sewage to seep into their homes.

Families on Sandcliff Road were left down in the dumps as they returned home on Thursday evening (August 14) to find their street saturated with faeces.

And this is not the first time they have had to clean sewage from their homes with residents reporting it as an annual occurrence.

Paul Seymour, aged 55, who has lived in Sandcliff Road with his wife, Joanne for 20 years said: "My wife was home around 30 minutes before me and the road was ankle deep in 'you know what' - I've lost count of the times we've come home to find sewage flowing down the road.

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"One former resident wrote to me to tell me that he was so depressed by what happened that he'd contemplated suicide."

Mother-of-four, Teresa Ives, aged 30, returned from holiday on August 15 with her husband, Leigh and children aged two, six, nine and 14 to find excrement in her home.

Mrs Ives said: "The smell is atrocious, we can't open the windows because it is outside too - it's appalling, unhygienic, it's filthy and it's not the first time, it's happened six times in the six years we've lived here.

"There's no way I was letting my children run around a house with other people's excrement in, you could catch all sorts of diseases.

"I was told that it would be fine once I cleaned it but it's not just flood water, there's raw sewage in there."

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Jeanette Burtenshaw, aged 38, who lives nearby on Pembroke Road added: "It flooded into my stairwell leaving raw sewage behind.

"I managed to empty the water out and my home now stinks of sewage still but no one from Thames Water have arranged to come and sterilise my property which is disgusting as you can pick any disease up from this."

Kent Fire and Rescue crews were called to help Bexley Council and Thames Water with the clean-up operation with firefighters offering piggy-backs to residents to avoid them wading through the sewage.

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A spokesman for Thames Water said: "We’re sorry to customers affected by flooding following the heavy rain.

"We went out straight away to clean up and used tankers to pump out the sewer which had been overwhelmed by rain water.

"We’ve been back to inspect the sewer and have found lots of fat, oil, grease and wipes in it which stop water flowing properly.

"We’ve arranged for this to be cleaned out as a priority."