A pregnant mum-of-four has been forced to use a portable toilet after hers started overflowing with poo every time her neighbours flushed their toilet.
Council workers say the ‘really bad blockage’ which forced Sophie Johnstone to wash her children in the sink was a ‘two man job’ to get rid of.
A caravan style portable toilet was put in her bathroom while the technical difficulties were resolved, but Sophie said she couldn’t risk emptying it and becoming ill due to her high-risk pregnancy.
She said: ‘The smell is horrific and I’ve been having to mop up other people’s waste from my home every single hour.
‘I’ve had to rip up the new carpet in my bedroom and hallway. It’s ruined the lino in the bathroom – it’s squelching underneath. It’s soaked half the living room carpet.
‘I’ve been washing my kids in the sink and the contractors said to use “minimal” water while washing hands, it’s just not feasible.’
Birmingham City Council has apologised for service falling ‘below what we would expect’ from its contractors who were tasked with eliminating the backlog.
Sophie, who is 20 weeks pregnant, was told she would have to empty her temporary loo down the drain on the main road outside and questioned if that was safe.
She said: ‘The contractor who came out said it was a ‘two man job’ and he’d be back later, but no-one came.
‘I’ve missed important medical appointments, one of my children has missed a speech therapy session and another has missed injections while we’ve had to wait in for this to be sorted.’
Sophie says another contractor eventually came out and said the issue was caused by a collapsed pipe outside the flats in West Heath, Birmingham.
‘He tried to jet the toilet to remove the blockage, but the pipes under the ground outside just exploded,’ Sophie added.
She now has to wait for a team to replace the pipe, let it set, then come back to deal with the toilet.
She added: ‘I just want the council to be honest. I’ve been ringing every hour of every day and no one can tell me when the work is likely to be done. We can’t live like this.’
Birmingham City Council said in a statement contractors visited the home on April 5 and found a blockage in the tube which takes people’s stools from the building’s plumbing.
Contractors left the portable loo as a temporary measure and only returned on April 11 due to a delay.
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They discovered their high pressure jet wasn’t enough to vanquish the unwanted visitor and returned the next day to fix the problem.
The council added: ‘It is recognised the service on this occasion fell below what we would expect from our contractors, who have apologised directly to the tenant and will be addressing this situation to ensure that it does not happen again.’