Cement which has been dumped into a sewer in Richmond has meant that Thames Water will be carrying out emergency repairs.

The work in Richmond Road, near Richmond Bridge and on the way into the town centre, is likely to cause traffic disruption to motorists for at least the next two weeks. The sewer is blocked by cement which was 'thoughtlessly' dumped.

Two tankers are also required to pump out waste 24 hours a day to protect the environment, and ensure nearby properties and businesses are not flooded with sewage.

A Thameswater spokesperson gave the following update on October 10: “We’re working hard to ensure repairs to the blocked sewer are completed as quickly as possible. This is a complicated job which needs careful planning, as the blockage is thought to be at least 35 metres long.

“Traffic is currently being manually controlled with ‘stop’ and ‘go’ signs when tankers are on site pumping out waste from the sewer to protect the environment, and ensure nearby properties and businesses are not flooded with sewage. We’re continuing our work to plan the best way of removing the concrete from the sewer with minimal disruption.”

Stuart White, Thames Water spokesman, said: “Normally blockages are caused by fat, oil and wet wipes building up in the sewer but unfortunately in this case it's concrete, so we can’t jet it through. It’s in there and it’s set to the pipe, so we need to remove the pipe and replace it with a new one.

“This is not the first time damage has been caused by people pouring concrete into our sewers. It’s very frustrating and takes a great deal of time and effort to resolve. Sewers are designed to take only pee, poo and toilet paper. Nothing else. Our message is to ‘Bin it – don't block it’.”

Every year Thames Water, serving 15 million people in London and the Thames Valley, spends a million pounds a month clearing blockages from its sewers. As part of its 2020-25 business plan, unveiled earlier this month, the company will invest an extra £2.1 billion to improve resilience and increase the capacity of its sewers to accommodate population growth and reduce the risk of sewers overflowing, as well as reduce pollutions by 18 per cent.

An investigation into who poured concrete into the sewer is underway.