Residents of a street in Pembroke are facing a particularly odious problem, with a drain pipe in the pavement spilling out filthy water with dog excrement right in front of their houses.
Disgruntled residents of the street – Sir Colonel Cocks – who spoke to Lovin Malta warned that the excrement-filled water is being left to pour underneath pavements and streets, giving off a foul smell and attracting flies and mosquitoes.
The problem essentially boils down to sheer civic irresponsibility. Maisonettes were built in the street as part of a government social housing project some 15 years ago, but without stormwater collection facilities. Therefore, rain water which falls onto their roofs and yards passes through a connected drain pipe system and spills out straight onto the main street.
This also means that residents who simply hose their dogs’ excrement down drains in their yards are simply shifting their problems onto the entire neighbourhood.
Some disgruntled residents, who insisted on remaining anonymous, warned that quite a few maisonette owners own pets and that they wash their yards at different hours of the day, meaning that the street suffers from a regular flow of filthy water.
They said that residents have complained to the public health authorities and the local council several times over the past decade, but that no action has been taken apart from a visit three years ago by public health officials who had taken samples of the filthy water.
The Pembroke local council’s executive secretary Kevin Borg told Lovin Malta that the council cannot interfere into people’s private properties and that the onus of responsibility lies on the pet owners to not hose their pets’ waste down the drains.
“The residents’ pipes are all connected so you can’t tell from where the waste is coming,” he said. “If you have an animal, then it’s up to you to dispose of the waste yourself.”