Hot weather is causing problems with the area s water pipes as up to 500 leaks are being reported each week. The hot spell is believed to have caused ground movement at a number of sites, resulting in split pipes and leaks. One Huntingdon woman was left w

Gushing water from a burst pipe

Hot weather is causing problems with the area's water pipes as up to 500 leaks are being reported each week.

The hot spell is believed to have caused ground movement at a number of sites, resulting in split pipes and leaks.

One Huntingdon woman was left waiting for three hours for Anglian Water to arrive at her home on Monday after a water pipe burst and flooded her garden.

Dot Raggett, who has recently lost her husband, woke to find her front and back gardens in Coldhams North covered in murky water.

She phoned Anglian Water at 8am to report the flood but, because its workers were so busy, they could not get to her house until 11.30am.

Dot, who has lived in Coldhams North for 32 years, had to use bricks as stepping stones to get to and from her home.

She said: "It is so upsetting, as I love my garden and it now looks such a mess. My grass and flowers will be ruined, and the patio I had laid two years ago will be a complete mess.

"I've been watching the stream of water flowing into my garden. I've been too frightened to go into my house as I would rather be outside in case the water gets inside the house and I can't get out again.

"It's outrageous that we should have to wait three hours for Anglian Water to arrive and turn the water off.

"I phoned them five or six times and my neighbours phoned as well and because they left it three hours gallons of water have been lost. I just can't understand why it took three hours for them to get here. I would think this was an emergency."

On one of the hottest days of the year, the water was turned off at 11am and remained off until 6pm when the split in the pipe could be repaired.

Anglian Water spokesman Collette Nicholls said: "We have to manage the jobs we have with the staff we have. We would have liked to have got there quicker, but we got there as soon as we could.

"Any change in weather can put pressure on pipes, causing them to burst. We are dealing with 500 leaks every week, and staff are working flat out.

"We will do all we can to assist the home owner and will pump the water out of her garden.