Farmer taps into mystery of water leak

A WATER leak which has seeped out for more than 10 years and was once thought to be a spring has been stopped… by a farmer turning off a tap. For more than 10 years water has been leaking along Sawpit Lane in Hamerton. When residents complained to the wat

A WATER leak which has seeped out for more than 10 years and was once thought to be a spring has been stopped... by a farmer turning off a tap.

For more than 10 years water has been leaking along Sawpit Lane in Hamerton. When residents complained to the water authority they were told the flood came from a natural spring.

However, two weeks ago, a farmer who lives in the road, discovered a hidden tap. He turned it off and the leak stopped.

Farmer, John Berry, said: "I found a rusted over old cover and when I opened it I found a tap, which I turned off. I had to turn it back on later because it cut off the water supply to the house over the road - but in the meantime, the water leak stopped and this has been going on for 10 years."


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Another resident of Sawpit Lane, Eric Goodwin, said: "The water runs down the bottom of the hill and it freezes over in winter, causing a hazard. The mud all down the side of the road has affected everybody. We have made complaints to Anglian Water but they have tested it and found no chlorine and told us it must be a natural spring."

He added: "When Anglian Water said it wasn't their responsibility, the council spent nearly a week putting in a drain to take the water away - but it's still leaking."

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A spokesman for Cambridgeshire County Council confirmed that more than £500 had been spent on drainage along the road to tackle the problem.

Anglian Water said: "The leaking pipe is privately owned and repairs to private supply pipes are the responsibility of the owner. However, under our Watertight Promise, we will carry out one free repair to keep leaks to a minimum. Since it runs on private land, we need to get two signatures for permission to carry out the work. The repair should then be carried out within 10 days.

"Anglia Water has the second lowest leakage rate in the country, half the natural average. However, £15million has been spent on detection and repair in the past financial year."

The spokesman added: "We went out to the site twice in 2002 and found no chlorine in the water. It seems to be ground water. The discovery of the leak from the pipe was just a coincidence and could be a second leak. A leak from a spring and from a pipe would follow the same course.

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