An 87-year-old woman living in a Norfolk village with ongoing sewage problems has said she is forced to go to the toilet on top of cat litter because she cannot use her backed-up loo.

The "shocking" situation was revealed at a public meeting in Grimston organised by the parish council where locals met with Anglian Water and Norfolk County Council representatives to discuss the continued problems.

It follows widespread issues affecting households in the west Norfolk community and neighbouring Pott Row and Roydon which have been exacerbated by the wet weather this winter.

Eastern Daily Press: Mark Dye, of Gaywood River Revival, speaks at the meeting in GrimstonMark Dye, of Gaywood River Revival, speaks at the meeting in Grimston (Image: Gaywood River Revival)

During the event attended by more than 100 frustrated locals, the 87-year-old, who said she has recently been left partially disabled following a stroke, described the ordeal she has been facing.

She said: "I've had to resort to sitting on cat litter to get rid of my own waste because the sewer in the front of my house backs up whenever we get heavy rain and it overflows and backs into my drains. 

"I am left isolated in my house with no means whatsoever to get rid of my waste. In February, I had to buy a commode and fill it with cat litter. I was left in this state for five days. The situation is awful."

READ MORE: Norfolk villagers face 20 years of sewage woes

Her story left many in the room shocked at the situation she faced this winter.

Eastern Daily Press: Rob Colwell, west Norfolk county councillorRob Colwell, west Norfolk county councillor (Image: Newsquest)

Rob Colwell, Liberal Democrat MP candidate and west Norfolk county councillor, said: "There was a lot of anger in the room from local residents. 

"We had stories of sewage flooding homes, geysers of water coming from street manhole covers that tested positive for E. coli, people contracting E. coli.

"But the 87-year-old's experience is utterly heart-wrenching."

READ MORE: The Norfolk village named as sewage hotspot

Eastern Daily Press: The Grimston sewage worksThe Grimston sewage works (Image: Gaywood River Revival)

Following the event, Mr Colwell has said Norfolk County Council is offering support to the woman and Anglian Water has been asked to send an engineer to look at the issue. 

Villagers have faced months of wastewater overflowing from drains following heavy rain, covering roads and causing problems for households.

Eastern Daily Press: Water bubbling out of the pipe following rain at the start of NovemberWater bubbling out of the pipe following rain at the start of November (Image: Gaywood River Revival)

Anglian Water has said surface water is infiltrating its sewer system, which is unable to cope due to the wet weather this winter. 

Problems have persisted for the past two decades, particularly in Watery Lane in Grimston, which has had frequent problems with sewage overflowing from manholes from the main pipe that connects the village with a sewage treatment plant. 

Eastern Daily Press: Anglian Water engineers at work in Grimston at the end of last yearAnglian Water engineers at work in Grimston at the end of last year (Image: Gaywood River Revival)

People have complained that the situation is getting worse due to the strain on the sewer system caused by new housing developments in the area.

At the meeting, representatives from AW said they were committed to finding a solution as part of their 2035 strategy but they were unable to provide a timescale for implementation.

Head of technical operations, Paul Louth, told residents they "can't solve everything" immediately but that the company is working towards improving the situation. and is committed to working with partner agencies to find a solution. 

READ MORE: Norfolk villagers unable to use the loo for "days on end"

Mark Dye, a Grimston parish councillor and Gaywood River campaigner, said: "Some of the stories we heard were horrendous and deeply upsetting. 

"I think locals have shown great resilience and been patient enough already.

"Whilst I appreciate 2024 saw record levels of rainfall, the problems in the three villages have been getting worse for years. 

“This all points to a failure in proper long-term investment to keep up with local development and upgrades to infrastructure."

READ MORE: Villagers angry after sewage flows towards river

The issues experienced by villagers in Grimston, Pott Row and Roydon, has also been reported by other communities in Norfolk.

In Bunwell in south Norfolk, locals have said they are having to "balance on buckets" after being unable to use their toilets for days due to their system being backed up.

Sewage flooding out of drains has also been reported recently in Aslacton, which villagers fear has been flowing into the River Tas. 

And in Hickling, people have had to use public toilets for months and have reported raw sewage coming up from their baths and toilets.