Bonnybridge chemotherapy patient's home covered in faeces after botched council drain work causes toilet explosion

A distraught homeowner who’s undergoing chemotherapy for a life-limiting disorder returned from a hospital appointment to find her home covered in faeces after her toilet exploded.

Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 4:53 pm

The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, arrived back at her Bonnybridge property last Thursday night to discover the floors, walls, blinds and ceilings of her downstairs bathroom and hall were lined with excrement following the blast, caused by Falkirk Council sewer drain work which went awry.

The local authority had been trying to flush out a blockage in Fairfield Avenue – but a mistake was made which instead led to the 34-year-old homeowner’s toilet erupting.

The single mum-of-two – diagnosed with granulomatosis with polyangiitis, a rare disorder that restricts blood flow to several organs – walked in, saw flooding and initially thought a radiator had exploded.

A toilet exploded in a Bonnybridge home after Falkirk Council sewer drain work went awry. Contributed.

The occupant began cleaning up the mess, unaware of what she was touching.

Having contacted a plumber and provided details of the council’s nearby drain work, what had really happened soon became apparent.

The seriousness of the situation left her horrified, as her condition means she has a compromised immune system.

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A sink and flooring was left covered in faeces after a toilet exploded in a Bonnybridge property. Contributed.

And she was incensed at the time it took the council to respond to her requests for help.

Despite making repeated telephone calls on Friday, a contractor didn’t show to sanitise the property until Saturday morning.

The woman said: “I walked in on Thursday night and went into our bathroom and my feet were squelching and thought, ‘There are marks on my walls’.

“There was water running out from the bathroom into the hall. The plumber asked about the drains and I mentioned the council being there.

“I said the council was out and I heard them saying something about finding the water main pipe and flushing it.

“He said, ‘Step out, that’s sewer water’.

“My wee one’s potty was filled with brown sewer water that was all over my walls, ceiling and blinds. There was water in the ceiling light.

“I instantly panicked, thinking ‘I shouldn’t be touching that’. I had to phone the hospital and the consultant told me to go and get antibiotics.

“I just cried all night. I had anxiety because I thought, ‘I can’t have my kids walking back into this’.

“I phoned the council three times and spoke to three people. The council left it all day, so the sewer water is under my old pine floor.”

The woman, who isn’t working due to her ill health, is now awaiting word from her insurance provider and said a contractor was sent back to her home today (Tuesday) as the clean-up hadn’t been carried out properly.

She added: “All they’ve done is the floor, not the wall.

“There’s still faeces on the window ledge and walls.”

A Falkirk Council spokesman said: “A contractor has now deep-cleaned and disinfected the property and we have apologised in person.

“We are entirely sympathetic to the homeowner’s situation but stress this was a genuine accident. As is normal practice, we have asked the homeowner to get in touch with her own insurers who can then raise a claim against the council.”

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