Row starts over who foots the bill for a burst water pipe

A burst water main has starting flooding Michael Piggott's property at Nest Estate, Mytholmroyd, it then flows through onto a public walkway on the estate
A burst water main has starting flooding Michael Piggott's property at Nest Estate, Mytholmroyd, it then flows through onto a public walkway on the estate

Dismayed residents could face a bill for thousands of pounds because a leaking water pipe has flooded their garden.

Michael Piggott and Jean Williams, of Nest Estate in Mytholmroyd, woke last Thursday morning to find a huge mound in the middle of their lawn.

Mr Piggott called an emergency engineer from Yorkshire Water, who confirmed that the mound was caused by a leak to a mains pipe somewhere beneath the surface which had forced the water to build up under the turf.

However, upon inspection Yorkshire Water told the couple that the pipe was not owned by the company and not their responsibility to fix.

Mr Piggott was advised to speak to Pennine Housing, who told him that because the house was privately owned by the couple, they had no responsibility for it either.

Six days on, the water continues to spew from the garden and has caused a stream to emerge along the footpath outside their home which runs over a nearby railway bridge and on to Caldene Avenue - hundreds of feet away.

“It’s like putting the tap on and leaving it running for six or seven days,” said Mr Piggott.

“You can see it’s clean, treated water and it’s just being poured away.

“The bottom of the garden is completely under water and a stream has formed down the footpath outside.

“Pennine and Yorkshire Water are saying it’s up to us to get it fixed because it’s under our land, but it could cost thousands and we don’t have that kind of money and even if we did, I don’t think we should have to pay it out of principle.

“When we moved in we didn’t even know the pipe was there,” Mr Piggott added.

Although it is not known exactly how many homes are served by the pipe, it is thought to be over 100, and repairs are not covered by the couple’s home insurance.

Mrs Williams added: “It’s very hypocritical of Yorkshire Water.

“They’re always telling us how to save water and yet they’re happy to let treated water pour away into the drains,” she said.

Matt Thompson from Yorkshire Water said: “Following a visit by our technicians, it was relayed to all relevant parties that the issue is on a private pipe which feeds the whole estate and one which is the responsibility of relevant homeowners or landlords to maintain.

“We have advised that they urgently contact a plumber to address the issue as is the normal routine for any issue on a private pipe,” he said.