THAMES Water this week apologised to a Hawley man whose garden was left awash with sewage for nearly a fortnight.

Mr Harry Grainger had made nine phone calls to the authority and had called in Hart Council, the Environment Agency and the Star before the mess was finally cleaned up last Thursday.

Mr Grainger has lived in the Victorian Edenbrook Lodge for the past 20 years and has had to put up with similar floods many times before. He says there are now too many houses on the narrow main sewer serving the area. The flooding happened on February 27 and it was several days before the manholes were unblocked.

He told the Star: "Hart Council did its best to get them to come and clean up, but without success and eventually I had to get on to the Environment Agency and point out that this stuff was leaking into Cove Brook and the Blackwater River."

Thames Water spokeswoman Hilary Bennett commented: "We accept that we did not respond to this query quickly enough and we are currently looking into why there was such a delay. We apologise to Mr Grainger for any inconvenience he has been caused."

She added that Thames Water would also be looking into the causes of the flood.