Residents feared they were SINKING after water main caused subsidence below their homes

April 15, 2013 | by | 0 Comments

Dozens of terrified residents yesterday feared their homes were SINKING into the ground after a water main caused major subsidence beneath their street.

Large cracks and holes measuring up to 6ft wide have appeared under people’s homes and driveways after an underground pipe sprung a leak SIX MONTHS ago.

Severn Trent claimed they had repaired the leak but since January the foundations of homes in St John’s, Worcester, have started to crumble.

Claire Salter and her dad Ken Salter with the large hole left by a burst water main that has exposed the bungalows foundations

Claire Salter and her dad Ken Salter with the large hole left by a burst water main that has exposed the bungalows foundations

One resident, Mel Clarke, 30, who won a silver medal for archery at last year’s London Paralympics, said large cracks had appeared in her bedroom and living room.

She said: “It’s been a nightmare. The cracks have been getting wider and longer and you can hear cracking and creaking.

“The heating just goes straight outside.

“My landlord has had to install wooden planks in the front room to ensure the damage doesn’t get any worse.”

Neighbours Kenneth Salter, 65, and his wife Kathleen, 63, have seen their driveway sink 4ft as a result of gallons of water leaking into the ground.

The couple’s bedroom window has also visibly moved several inches raising fears the property is on the verge of collapse.

The couple’s daughter Claire said: “There had been nothing wrong with the property before this. It was perfect for them.

“We are just sick and fed-up with what’s going on.

“Trouble started on October 10 when a burst water main caused small water fountains to appear on the drive and a torrent of water was running down it from the stop tap.

“A gaping hole appeared in the driveway and it was cordoned of and deemed unsafe to use until January 22 when some workmen appeared to remove the block paving that was left and dig out the rest of the driveway.

“It took them three weeks to do this and they have left an exposed hole under the front of my parents’ bungalow so that the foundations are visible.”

Severn Trent yesterday (Mon) claimed the pipe was repaired shortly after it was reported last October and they were in touch with residents over damage to their homes.

Sarah-Jane Dean, Severn Trent’s customer engagement adviser, said: “We would like to apologise to customers for any distress caused by the water pipe that burst near their property last October.

“The pipe was repaired shortly after the burst was reported to us on October 10.”

“We understand that situations like this can be very inconvenient and we are doing everything we can to help Mr and Mrs Salter.

“Our insurance loss adjustors have been in touch with them to discuss the way forward and the further investigation work that is needed.

“Mr Francis (Mel Clarke’s landlord) has notified us that his property may also (have) been affected by the burst pipe and we are in contact with his legal representatives to agree the next steps.”

Category: News

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