Driveway collapses after water main leak
A driveway in Great Cornard has collapsed as water flows from a burst water main, with no guarantees on when it will be fixed.
There has been a constant flow of water coming up from under the driveway in Mallard Way since April.
Despite the road being used by several residents, it has not been adopted by Babergh District Council and so there is an ongoing legal battle as to who should foot the bill.
Meanwhile, thousands of litres of water are bubbling up to the surface, breaking up the road and causing a foul smell on sunny days.
Mrs Angel said: “On warm days it becomes stagnant and smells. It could be dangerous. I don’t let my grandchildren come out here.”
Mrs Angel said several children had come to the street to play in the pools of water and she had been forced to tell them to leave fearing the water could make them ill or that the drive could collapse.
The pools are made worse after heavy rain, though most of the time there is just a constant stream of perfectly clear water that should be flowing into resident’s homes.
Recently Mrs Angel’s own water pipe burst. She arranged to have this fixed through her home insurance but it burst again less than a week later, with the water from this adding to the amount of surface water.
Fortunately, there is a nearby drain where much of the water is running into, while the 63-year-old’s particularly green lawn is soaking some of the water.
While Mrs Angel has had to foot the bill of the leak on the drive outside of her property, the argument over who should pay for the other leak means that for four months now the situation has been getting worse.
An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Our technicians have located this leak on a private pipe serving a nearby property. As the leak and pipe is inside the property boundary the responsibility for repairing it lies with homeowner.
“We want to fix leaks as quickly as possible, and we have a proven track record of doing so on the water mains we are responsible for. However, Anglian Water is only responsible for public mains, not private pipes within the curtilage of a property.
“As a result, we have informed the customer that this is a private issue and given them information so that they can arrange a repair.
“We subsequently served a formal notice asking them to arrange a repair, and if no action is taken, we may be forced to take legal action. This will be to gain permission to enter the property and repair the leak and redeeming the cost of the work, so that issues like these do not unduly impact other customers’ bills.
“The leak was reported to us at the beginning of April and we attended within 24 hours. Since then we have been following the formal process of notifying the homeowner.”
“We have been in regular contact with the local residents about the issue.”