Alconbury resident still waiting for burst pipe to be fixed

ANGLIAN Water has still not repaired a burst water pipe in Alconbury Weston – despite being aware of the problem for more than four months. Families in the village says they are battling a rat infestation, plagues of mosquitoes and an unpleasant smell in

ANGLIAN Water has still not repaired a burst water pipe in Alconbury Weston - despite being aware of the problem for more than four months.

Families in the village says they are battling a rat infestation, plagues of mosquitoes and an unpleasant smell in their gardens, which have been left under water due to the leak.

Rosemary Coppin-Crown, of Wheatsheaf Cottages, Alconbury Hill, contacted The Hunts Post two weeks ago, saying she was at her wits' end.

At that time, Anglian Water apologised for the inconvenience and said that the repair "should have been done by now".

However, Mrs Coppin-Crown is still waiting for her garden - which she describes as a "buffalo watering hole" - to be returned to its normal natural state.

She said: "We're in limbo. We can't do any repairs to our conservatory until this problem is fixed. All the work has been booked but we've had to put them off because there is simply no point in doing it while the garden is still so wet."

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She explained that recent heavy rainfall left her garden under three inches of water and that approximately a quarter-of-a-mile of woodland behind her home was now flooded and home to ducks and moorhens.

Rats, attracted by the new wet habitat in Mrs Coppin-Crown's garden, have caused substantial damage to her shed - which she uses as part of her charitable work for Cats Protection. They have also chewed through electrical cables.

The soak-away for the property's septic tank has also been damaged by the flooding, and is causing a potential health hazard.

Mrs Coppin-Crown added: "I think it is incredible that they are letting so much water be wasted, especially when there is constant talk of possible drought conditions and hose-pipe bans. I read a notice recently that said a dripping tap can waste 20,000 litres of water. I dread to think how many thousands of gallons are being wasted because of this leak. You can hear the water rushing out of the pipe because it is flowing so fast."

Sara Rowland, speaking on behalf of Anglian Water, said: "On the scale of things, this is only a minor leak and will probably only take an hour or two to fix. However, we will have to interrupt the water supply to 3,500 properties to get the work done and to do this we must put together a major impact plan because the works needs company approval."

She explained that cards notifying residents and other customers of the proposed interruption had to be hand-delivered 48 hours before any work was started, to guarantee their delivery and ensure that everyone was aware of the situation.

Ms Rowland continued: "We also need to check if any vulnerable customers will be affected by the interruption. For example, are there any hospitals, care homes or dialysis patients in the area who rely on a constant water supply.

"We are hoping to get the work done next week. We are doing a huge amount of work behind the scenes and we are very sorry for any perception that we are dallying.

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