Tankers are protecting homes from being flooded with sewage after a main sewer pipe burst, putting residents at risk of “one of the most horrendous experiences anyone can have”.

The pipe in Cobham, which carries waste from the local sewer network, was found to be broken on Friday (February 10) – putting thousands of properties at risk of backing up.

Engineers from Thames Water spent the weekend planning how to repair the damaged pipe which is in a privately owned field close to the A3 and has high voltage powers cables overhead.

The tankers having been sucking out sewage from pumping stations in Portsmouth Road and Stoke Road as well as from a number of manholes in the surrounding area and transferring it to Chertsey sewage works.

Work to repair the pipe buried 1.5 metres underground starts today (Tuesday, February 14) and is expected to last until Friday, February 17.

Regional manager Carl Leadbetter explained: “As soon as we knew the sewer pipe was broken we quickly put the tankers to work to protect our customers and the environment from being flooded with sewage, which is one of the most horrendous experiences anyone can have.

“We understand the tankers going backwards and forwards are a nuisance and we’re sorry for that.

“We’ve delivered letters to everyone living nearby and hope they understand why we need them and how this is better than the alternative of being flooded.”