Raw sewage has flowed into a West Watford estate after a sanitation pump became overwhelmed over the festive and New Year period.
Residents in Stripling Way have complained about the foul stench coming from the water pouring down a hill from a private housing development above them.
Concerns have also been raised about children attending Laurance Haines Primary who walk up the hill en route to school.
However, attempts to get the problem solved have been impeded by confusion over who is responsible for the pump.
The area’s county councillor Nigel Bell said he had spent days trying to get to the bottom of the mystery and that he suspected there was “buck passing” going on over the issue.
Meanwhile, residents on the road have had to endure a putrid smelling winter break, reporting four separate leaks occurring between Christmas Eve and New Years.
Frank Cooper, a retired sanitation worker living in Stripley Way, said the overflow was coming from sewage pumps on private housing development Faraday Court.
He said the problem had first started in the summer, but had been fixed before overflowing erupted again on Christmas Eve.
“It’s a horrible smell,” said the 62-year-old.
“The kids walk through it thinking it is just water then take it in the school.”
Rachel Clay, 42, who also lives in Stripling Way, added that people on the road were disgusted to have raw sewage running by their homes and wanted the problem sorted once and for all.
She said: “It’s revolting. In the summer you can’t open your windows or go out into the garden because of the smell.”
Following the latest leak, residents on the estate had contacted Councillor Bell for help, but he said he was having trouble finding out who was responsible for the pump.
He said he contacted the housing association which owns properties on the Faraday Court Hightown Praetorian & Churches.
The association responded saying the pump was the responsibility of Faraday Court’s management company which is called Crabtree Property Management.
Watford Observer contacted Crabtree but it declined to comment on the situation or whether it is responsible for the pump.
Councillor Bell said: “It seems like there is buck passing going on and my concern is that local residents are being affected.
"I want the people responsible to get on and sort it once and for all. It’s ridiculous.”