Water chiefs must explain pipe bursts

County councillor Ian Brown
County councillor Ian Brown
Share this article

Councillors in the Ribble Valley have hit out at United Utilities after repeated burst water mains are leaving hundreds of homes and businesses without water.

Earlier this month residents took to social media to say they had no water or very low pressure after a water pipe burst on Pimlico Road.

It is understood there have been six bursts in the last three months and councillors are now demanding officials at United Utilities tackle the increasing number of leaks.

County Coun. Ian Brown, said: “This shouldn’t be happening in a modern developed country. I wonder whether this isn’t related to all the house building that is taking place in Clitheroe. United Utilities have a lot of questions to answer - in particular whether the underground water supply infrastructure in Clitheroe can cope with all the new build that is yet to take place.”

Similar words were expressed by Coun. Ged Mirfin. He stated: “This is only one of many in a long line of incidents where local residents have been left with no water for long periods following burst water mains in the Ribble Valley over the last three months. There have been four in Billington alone and one in Read. According to figures released by United Utilities, over the last eight years there have been 62 burst water mains in the Ribble Valley where residents have been left without water.”

The leader of Ribble Valley Borough Council, Coun. Ken Hind, is calling for an urgent meeting with the water firm. He concluded: “Six major bursts in the last three months raises a number of questions about the vulnerability of parts of the old underground water supply infrastructure.”

A spokesman for United Utilities said: “We constantly monitor and review all bursts on our water mains network in Clitheroe as part of our ongoing programme of maintenance and investment. Any large water network will experience some leaks, which is why we have emergency teams working round the clock to respond quickly and rectify them as soon as possible, including operating a fleet of Water on Wheels water tankers to restore supplies while work is under way.

“Nonetheless, we realise any burst is disruptive and inconvenient for our customers and we apologise for this. Having reviewed the recent leaks in Clitheroe town, there is nothing to suggest they are linked, but we would be more than happy to meet the councillors to discuss any particular concerns they might have.”