Two homes flooded after main burst

Sandy and Geoff Emson flooded out at School Rd West Walton
Sandy and Geoff Emson flooded out at School Rd West Walton

RESIDENTS at two homes in West Walton are mopping up after a water main burst outside their homes on Saturday causing between four to seven inches of flooding.

The burst in School Road left several homes without water - some for around six hours.

floods at School Rd West Walton

floods at School Rd West Walton

The flooded properties were number 50 belonging to Jonathan Ellis and number 48, the home of Geoff and Sandy Emson.

Some neighbouring gardens were also waterlogged. The burst triggered a second rupture just a few hundred yards along the road when it is thought the pressure of turning off the water caused a burst opposite Marshland High School.

The homeowners affected are now hoping Anglian Water will get to the root of the problem as the same properties were flooded in 2005 when a main burst in almost the same place.

This resulted in Geoff and Sandy having an eight-month battle with Anglian Water trying to get compensation for damage caused to fixtures and fittings.

floods at School Rd West Walton

floods at School Rd West Walton

“We can’t live like this every few years,” said Sandy, who on Monday had six dehumidifiers and dryers going virtually non-stop in their cottage.

Sandy said the noise is “horrendous” and they are having to switch some of the blowers off to watch television or get to sleep.

Floor covering, sodden carpets and some furniture has been removed from both homes and Sandy said some of these were items replaced after the first flood.

The couple were waiting for the loss adjuster on Monday and are expecting to have the blowers on for several weeks.

“We are in a hell of a mess at the moment,” said Sandy.

Geoff believes the burst is down to the amount of heavy traffic using the road and the depth of the pipe.

“When they came in 2005 I said the main isn’t deep enough given the high volume of traffic we have here. I said it will crack again and I think I am right!”

Geoff said storm drains were installed along parts of the road after the 2005 flood but none were put outside the properties which flooded again on Saturday.

Geoff discovered water four to six inches inside the house just before 6am. At first he thought a tank had burst and then he saw water all over the lounge, dining room, kitchen and bathroom. He looked out of the window and saw the main had burst.

One of their dogs was asleep in the lounge in its basket which was floating on the water.

Neighbouring Mr Ellis was away at the time and came home after being told about the flooding by his mother, who lives in the village.

He said he measured seven inches of water in his driveway.

“There was a fraction more water this time,” he said, adding: “It’s not just the water it has a knock-on effect of having dehumidifiers and fans going 24-seven for six to eight weeks afterwards. I really don’t want this to happen again.”

Sandy said she has already been warned by engineers who came to make repairs that the same could happen again in the next five to ten years.

“We need some sort of protection putting in place,” she said.

Antony Innes, of Anglian Water, said: “We are very sorry that two properties were flooded. This is clearly a very disruptive and frustrating incident for customers involved.

“Specialist teams were able to get to site that morning to help clean up and start restoring the properties. We will continue to work closely with those customers who were affected and our insurers to put things right as quickly as possible.

“We’d also like to apologise to customers with properties on School Road who were left without water, or with low pressure, throughout Saturday while our engineers repaired two burst mains. Supplies were fully restored by mid afternoon.

“The problem was first reported to us at around 6am and we were able to quickly get to site and stop the leak within the hour.

“Unfortunately, this meant a number of properties on School Road, Mill Road and River Road were without water until our engineers were able to restore supplies shortly before 9am.”