August 20 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, July 13, 2014
People in a Suffolk village claim a leak has been ignored for so long by Anglian Water that it has produced a water garden.
Three feet tall irises and other plantation have appeared on the verge in Lower Street, Stansfield, since it was reported in the spring.
A garden gnome has been added for decoration by a villager together with a sign saying ‘Water Garden thanks to Anglian Water’.
A stretch of road is now covered in algae due to the flow of water which has developed from a trickle to a steady stream over the months.
There is an Anglian Water ‘aware’ sign attached to a fence, but residents say it is hidden by vegetation and the lettering of the job number - 50186446 – is fading away because it has been there for so long.
Anglian Water, whose corporate logo is ‘Love Every Drop’, has been criticised by consumers for failing to deal with leaks.
Following a recent customer survey it said: “We heard loud and clear that leaks are a big concern for many. You don’t like to see us wasting resources and not playing our part to conserve water.”
Richard Evans, chairman of Stansfield Parish Council who lives opposite the leak, said yesterday: “We are beginning to wonder if the irises will come into flower before Anglian Water gets round to fixing this leak. Heaven knows how many hundreds of gallons of water have gone to waste.
“A resident reported the leak back in the spring – he thinks in February – and a couple of months ago some workmen from Anglian Water came to look at it.
“But they said because a car was parked nearby and they did not have any traffic cones they could not proceed. When a villager offered to provide cones he was told they could not be used without permission from the local council.”
An Anglian Water spokesman said: “I’m really sorry we haven’t fixed this leak sooner. What has happened falls well short of the high standards we set ourselves, and it’s really disappointing it’s taken us so long to get to this.
“We believe the leak was reported to us late in April, and shortly after we did try to fix it. Unfortunately we couldn’t, as a car was parked where we needed to dig out the broken pipe.
“We should have returned to carry out the repair shortly after that, but for reasons that are currently unclear, we didn’t. I can only apologise for this, as we know any leak is a waste of water that we can ill afford, especially during the warmer summer months.
“I’m told a fishing gnome has moved in to the water garden that has grown up around the leak. We hope he won’t be too offended when we move him on early next week, when we plan to return and complete the job once and for all.”