Edinburgh man's bathroom 'flooded with excrement' after CityFibre cut sewage pipe

A man living in Craiglockhart says his bathroom flooded with excrement, as a result of CityFibre mistakenly cutting a sewage pipe outside his property.

By Anna Bryan
Tuesday, 28th June 2022, 2:53 pm

John Morgan, 51, who lives on Craiglockhart Park, said the telecoms company were “disrupting people’s lives”.

Around three months ago, Mr Morgan noticed that part of his street had been dug up. Soon after, an engineer came door-to-door, and let him know that his gas had been cut off.

He was told CityFibre had been installing fibre optic cables on the street, and had accidentally cut the line. At first, he did not see a problem, as the issue was fixed immediately.

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However, he was not aware his sewage pipes had also been cut by the engineers.

The 51-year-old did not discover this until two weeks ago, when his utility room flooded with water. Shortly after, his downstairs toilet overflowed with excrement, urine and used toilet roll.

"It was absolutely disgusting,” he said. “It was all over the floor, the shower and the bath.”

A section of Craiglockhart Park has been cordoned off, after a sewage pipe was cut during fibre optic installation works.

A plumber informed him of the source of the problem – a sewer pipe outside that had been cut during works.

Mr Morgan has cleaned up the mess, but he said: “Unless the pipes are fixed, this is going to happen again.”

He rents out part of his property through Airbnb and has had to inform guests they cannot use the downstairs bathroom.

The issue isn’t isolated to his own property. The pipes outside are starting to fill up, and have overflowed onto the street on a couple of occasions. "It looks really disgusting,” Mr Morgan said.

He continued: "I’ve called CityFibre several times, but they just don’t seem to be interested.

"They think it’s Scottish Water’s problem.”

Mr Morgan is also unhappy with Scottish Water. He reported the cut pipe to the company on June 12, however, he is still waiting for the pipe to be repaired.

However, his main issue is with CityFibre. He said: “They have carte blanche to turn up on people’s streets and start digging, but they’re disrupting people’s lives.

"They don’t seem to be bothered about the neighbourhood.”

Paul Wakefield, Edinburgh Area Manager for CityFibre, said: “Following works on Full Fibre deployment in the Firrhill area, we received report of damage to a sewage pipe. Scottish Water is working to investigate the cause of the issue and is making repairs. We have been working closely with Scottish Water and have been engaging with the resident through the City of Edinburgh Council.”

A Scottish Water spokesperson said: “We attended and investigated the burst pipe on June 12, the day it was reported to us. Unfortunately, due to some issues with locating the where the issue was and the need for additional equipment to carry out the repair, it took longer than expected to plan the work.

“Operatives are due to attend this today at 12 noon and will work to complete the repair as quickly as possible.

“We apologise for any inconvenience and for the time it has taken to start this work.”