Anglian Water could take legal action after hundreds of homes left without water in north Norfolk

Anglian Water's customer support unit in Badersfield after the supply problems were eventually fixe

Anglian Water's customer support unit in Badersfield after the supply problems were eventually fixed. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Anglian Water (AW) may take legal action against a contractor blamed for breaking the law, causing hundreds of north Norfolk customers low-pressure problems.

Some 500 homes in Badersfield, former RAF Coltishall, lost water completely for up to 20 hours last month following several weeks of slow-filling baths, dripping showers and non-working washing machines.

Dave Ward, head of networks with AW, said their investigations had identified that a third party organisation working in the area had operated AW's main without permission.

'By operating the valve on our pipe they reduced the flow of water causing the low pressures customers experienced,' Mr Ward added.

'It is illegal to operate a public water main without authorisation from the responsible authority and, as a result, we are pursuing this to prevent a future occurrence in Badersfield or anywhere else this contractor is working.'

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AW has set aside £25,000 for 'goodwill gestures' towards its affected customers, offering each £50 credit.

Mr Ward said this was roughly equivalent to one month of water and sewerage charges, plus an extra amount in recognition of the inconvenience caused.

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In addition, AW would be making a donation to a charity nominated by Tesco, at the request of one of the residents, Liz Dobson.

Staff at Tesco's Sprowston store travelled to Badersfield with supplies of bottled water on the night of May 14 after the community was left high and dry.

AW would also be making a donation to the Badersfield community, Mr Ward added.

And an agreement had been reached, in principle, with Preim, the site management company, about AW adopting the water network in the area.

Responsibility has previously been split between AW and Preim.

Mr Ward said they were confident that the measures being taken would ensure the local water network was managed more effectively.

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