A broken sewer pipe has turned a man’s home in a “hovel” and left him fearing for his health.

William Bishop, 76, from Woodstock Way in Mitcham, has been living with rising damp for the last six years, but he was only told at the end of last year by the water company the problem had been caused by a broken sewer pipe below his property.

Mr Bishop uses a dehumidifier that collects two gallons of water every day, which when tested was found to contain four out of five parts ammonia – a by-product released during the decomposition of urine.

The retired bus driver said the “hovel” he once called a home was now “slowly killing”  him and he was suffering from respiratory problems and bleeding from the mouth and nose – symptoms his doctor said could have been contributed by the black mould growing in his home. 

His wife has already moved out of the property because of the “atrocious” smell emanating from beneath the floorboards that he attempts to stave off by burning candles.

He said: “It is causing me real health problems and slowly killing me, and it seems nobody cares.

“I have been trying to get something done on many occasions, but nothing has been done.
“The smell is atrocious.

“My wife can’t stand it and has moved out to live with friends so I’m living here on my own and it has given me bad health because of the black mould spores I have been breathing in.”

After being contacted by the Wimbledon Guardian, Merton Priory Homes said it was now investigating the problem.

Wayne Hainsworth, managing director at Merton Priory Homes, said: “We are dealing directly with Mr Bishop and urgently investigating this issue so that it can be fixed as soon as possible.”