Warwick residents told to pay for new water pipe

Residents in Hill Street are not happy that water has been gushing for 6 weeks. NNL-170725-214953009
Residents in Hill Street are not happy that water has been gushing for 6 weeks. NNL-170725-214953009

Residents in a street in Warwick are becoming increasingly frustrated after being told to pay for a burst water pipe because it is thought to be on private land.

Around six weeks ago the residents were aware that a water pipe had burst near Hill Street.

Some of the residents have be left with little or no water pressure as a result.

Sue Whitehouse, one of the residents, said: “We are battling with Severn Trent over this burst water pipe. This has been going on for around six weeks and gallons and gallons of water is rushing away.

“They are always saying about water wastage and all this fresh water is going into the sewer. We have no water pressure and now four of us cannot use our showers.”

Before the burst pipe the residents were unaware that some of their houses were all connected to one water outlet

Sue continued: “We have been told that eight to nine of our houses are connected to one outlet, which we never knew.

“The pipe has corroded, which is why it has burst but Severn Trent are saying it is on private land and that we have to pay to get it fixed.

“Our houses were built in the 1960s and I have lived in my house for 31 years and I knew nothing about being connected to this outlet. It is not on our deeds. Now Severn Trent are saying they will take us to court.”

Kevin Rourke, who has lived on Hill Street for 44 years, said: “Seven of the eight properties house pensioners, and one has a family with young children.

“Three of the residents have lived here for almost 50 years, during which time Severn Trent have received the equivalent of over £180,000 in water rates.

“We were aware that we were responsible for the pipe beneath our gardens. Suddenly we are being told we are also responsible for over 160 feet of pipe which runs under a public footpath from the road to our property boundary.

“We have been paying full water rates for all these years, though it seems we are sharing only one supply pipe. We have also had a letter from Severn Trent saying that it is a private matter and that it is up to us to sort it out.

“The leak has been traced to an area of land which is private property, it was previously a public space but was sold off by the council with the proviso that it was used as a garden. Despite this, it is currently an all-weather football pitch, and there have been at least two planning applications to develop the site into a HMO.

“We believe it is a communication pipe for which Severn Trent have responsibility, and there are modern Severn Trent boundary boxes on the footpath.”

A spokesperson for Severn Trent said: “We’ve been working with residents in Hill Street to locate the source of a water leak.

“Our initial investigation found that the leak was on a private pipe and we’re continuing our work to try and find out exactly where the problem is.

“As a company, we’re responsible for water pipes that go to a home’s external stop tap but any-thing inside the boundary of a property is the responsibility of the homeowners to repair.

“If we find that this leak is on a private pipe we’ll provide advice and information to the homeowners on how they can go about getting the problem fixed.”