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Burst water pipe in Haverhill street took more than one week to repair




A damaged water pipe from which thousands of gallons of water had poured out on to a Haverhill street for nine days has been repaired.

And for dozens of residents, the prospect of paying for the repair themselves has also been removed.

Water had been flowing into Waveney Terrace from Monday, November 25, from the damaged pipe in the alleyway that provides rear access to properties in Eden Road and Duddery Hill until Anglian Water finally mended it on Wednesday, December 4.

Nigel Lewis and Carly Ford next to the water flowing out on to Waveney Terrace from the alleyway giving rear access to houses on Eden Road and Duddery Road.Picture by Steve Barton
Nigel Lewis and Carly Ford next to the water flowing out on to Waveney Terrace from the alleyway giving rear access to houses on Eden Road and Duddery Road.Picture by Steve Barton

One week after the leak began the water company had sent a letter to people living in Eden Road and Duddery Hill saying the pipe was on private land and that they needed to repair it.

The letter said: "Because the pipe is inside the boundary of your property, it will be either yours or your landlords responsibility to fix it."

Haverhill Central town councillor Aaron Luccarini had been liaising with Anglian Water in an attempt to resolve the issue.

The water flowing from the alleyway into Waveney Terrace. Picture by Steve Barton )
The water flowing from the alleyway into Waveney Terrace. Picture by Steve Barton )

Following a site visit by Anglian Water technicians last Wednesday, the company decided to fix the pipe itself that afternoon.

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “Our engineers have fixed the leaking pipe on Eden Road in Haverhill.

“The pipe is privately owned, however we were able to locate the leak and on this occasion we made the necessary repairs to ensure there was no more water escaping.

Waveney Terrace resident Laura Hobbs took this photo from the second floor of her house
Waveney Terrace resident Laura Hobbs took this photo from the second floor of her house

“We hate leaks as much as our customers and would like to remind our customers who have private supplies to ensure they are fully maintained to prevent such occurrences.

“We are contacting all of the customers who share responsibility for the pipe in Eden Road to explain how they can maintain this private supply in the future.”

In the letter it issued, Anglian Water had told residents that they needed to fix the pipe within 30 days, but one Eden Road homeowner, Carly Ford, was less than impressed.

She said: "The leak is in an alley that is shared with 40 houses, but Anglian Water refuse to fix it due to shared responsibility, even though they don’t own the pipe but use it to supply and charge our houses for this service."

A private plumber had estimated that it would cost about £900 to fix the pipe, said Carly, but not every resident asked to contribute to the cost would agree to do so.

She added: "To compound an already serious situation due to Suffolk Highways failing to clear the drains for the last year, this is making a serious situation even worse, as the water has no where to go.

"Besides the fact that Anglian Water tell us by their logo to "love every drop" and make billions in profits every year for their shareholders, it would appear that they give their customers very little consideration.

"Surely, in this age of impending climate crisis where everybody is urged by local and national government to do their bit, this episode has shown us that the powers that be both local and national aren’t prepared to stand by what they are advising us to do.

"This is a disgrace."

Before the repair was done, Cllr Luccarini had said: "I'm pushing for them (Anglian Water) to carry out the work and sort out the cost later on.

"That makes more sense to me. Get it done, get it fixed and sort out the cost later on."

Waveney Terrace resident Nigel Lewis had also pointed out that some of the drains are blocked with silt, vegetation and rubbish and have never been cleared - meaning the water had nowhere to go - even though he had reported the issue to Suffolk County Council a number of times.


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