Householders left with a soggy feeling as water leak runs into its ninth week (From The Oxford Times)
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Householders left with a soggy feeling as water leak runs into its ninth week
VILLAGERS living near Didcot say they are fed up with an eight-week water leak on their high street.
The water pipe burst in South Moreton in July, and has been leaking water across the road ever since, eroding the tarmac and rotting a garden fence.
Residents have repeatedly called Thames Water but the firm has so far failed to take action. However, following a call by the Oxford Mail, Thames Water has said the repair will take place tomorrow.
Mum-of-three Sally Ayres, who lives on South Moreton High Street, said: “It is a massive waste of water.”
The constant stream has been keeping her garden fence wet for the past eight weeks.
She said she has twice requested claims forms for the damage from Thames Water but received nothing.
Mrs Ayres, 29, added: “I’m not sure what they are doing.
“The water is eroding the road as well which makes it dangerous to walk along.”
Parish councillor Helen Ball said the leak was disrupting daily life in the village.
She added: “It has been a long time with a lot of water being wasted. It has caused major disrepair to the road and as a result is causing havoc with traffic and pedestrians alike.
“I find this an intolerable waste, yet Thames Water tells us that we can lose as much as 75 litres of water a day having a dripping tap.”
Thames Water has the worst leakage rate in the country, although with 600,000 customers it also has the largest network.
In 2011/12 the utility spent £3.1m fixing leaks in Oxfordshire, including 839 reported by customers and 1,916 ‘pro-active’ fixes.
In August the village of Elsfield north of Oxford saw a two-week leak which wasted 556,416 gallons of water before a call from the Oxford Mail prompted the firm to send out engineers and fix it the very next day.
The company, which fears a major water shortage by 2040, also announced in August it wants to put half a million water meters in homes to help reduce water use.
Thames Water spokesman Craig Rance said: “We will be repair the broken eight-inch pipe in South Moreton tomorrow. Engineers will shut off water supplies while the leak is fixed and we will letting customers know that they will be affected. We are sorry for the length of time it has taken to fix this leak and for any inconvenience caused.”
Tips for protecting your home from flooding
RESIDENTS in Oxford and neighbouring areas can pick up tips on protecting their homes during the winter at a flood forum next month.
The forum, which takes place at Oxford Town Hall, begins with a presentation on the Oxford Area Flood Partnership’s work by chairman John Copley before residents are invited to ask questions.
The partnership is made up of representatives of the Environment Agency, Oxfordshire County Council, Oxford City Council, Vale of White Horse district council, Thames Water and Network Rail.
One piece of advice being highlighted is that residents should not rely too heavily on sandbags during times of flooding. Louisa Dean from Oxford City Council said: “Sandbags only work up to a certain point.
“If you live in an area where flooding is a problem, there are other ways to deal with it like using boards to fit doorways.”
The open forum will take place on Thursday, October 17 from 7pm to 9pm.
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