WITHIN hours of the ET launching its Leakwatch campaign on Thursday (29 March) in a bid to help conserve the region’s dwindling water supply it received its first report of a leak.
Leakwatch was launched on Thursday calling on readers to report leaks to the ET and within hours of the paper hitting the shelves, our offices in Priestgate had its first response.
Mark White (49), from Folksworth, near Stilton, contacted the paper via email about a leak in Manor Road, Folksworth, which has been running for numerous weeks.
He said: “All that has been done is a sign tied to the hedge near it saying ‘Anglian Water aware’.”
He said he thought it was “disgusting” the leak had gone unrepaired when Anglian Water was preparing to ban the use of hosepipes from next week and feared it would deter people from doing their bit.
Mr White, who has bought two water butts ahead of the ban coming into force to gather supplies for his vegetable patch, said: “It will put people off trying to save water or adhering to the hosepipe ban. I have got our hosepipe ready to be switched off and blocked off so no-one can use it. I’m ready to do my bit, but I walk past a leak every day.”
Ciaran Nelson, a spokesman for Anglian Water, said the fault in a 25mm pipe in Manor Road was spotted on March 26 by a staff member employed to spot leaks and had been scheduled to be fixed today.
Defending the delay, he said: “We have to prioritise these things. In an average year we fix about 30,000 leaks. If we have got a leak where customers have got either low pressure or no water as a result of a leak we will prioritise it above everything else.”
Mr Nelson, on behalf of Anglian Water, backed the Leakwatch campaign.
In a letter to the paper, he said: “I want to let Evening Telegraph readers know how much we welcome Leakwatch.
“We have an army of leakage experts out in our region every day, proactively finding and fixing leaks – many of them before they are spotted by our customers.
“But with such a large area to cover, it helps tremendously when our customers act as our eyes and ears, allowing us to track down leaks as soon as they occur.
“With an underground network of 40,000km of water pipe to look after, some leaks are inevitable.
“But we’re doing everything we can to find and fix them as quickly as possible - especially during the ongoing drought.
“If we are to succeed in looking after every precious drop then we need everyone’s support and vigilance – that’s what we’re very pleased to support Leakwatch.”
Mr Nelson also called on residents to report leaks directly to Anglian Water: report a leak online - www.anglianwater.co.uk or call free 24/7 leakline number 0800 771 881.
Karen Gibbs, policy manager for the Consumer Council for Water, said: “Historically Anglian Water’s leakage record is better than the industry average. However along with several other companies, they missed the target last year due largely to the severe winter.
“As a rule, water companies should be aiming to beat their targets. Water company leakage is very important to customers and can be a real barrier to people doing their bit to conserve water.
“Water companies need to show their customers that they are doing everything they can.”
Other water-loss in the city
THE leak in Folksworth was only one of a number of faults on Anglian Water’s radar in the past 48 hours.
The firm tackled a blocked sewer in Oundle Road on Wednesday evening which had left water running into the street.
Engineers were on site between 7.30pm and 9.30pm.
The issue had been reported to them a matter of hours earlier and had been given such priority due to the risk to environmental health.
At 3.30am yesterday, Anglian Water were called to a burst four inch cast iron main in Lincoln Road, near Morrisons.
Engineers were on site at 4am and had to close one lane of the A15 to tackle the issue, which had been resolved by noon.
The lane remained closed throughout the afternoon to allow for the asphalt to harden.
Have you got a problem with a water leak near you? How will you beat the drought?
Contact our news team by email email@example.com, telephone 01733 588719.