Anglian Water faces its customers after hundreds in Badersfield left high and dry

Badersfield residents Dan, Teddy and Sophie Dawber. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Badersfield residents Dan, Teddy and Sophie Dawber. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

Anglian Water (AW) staff faced the music when they turned up on a Norfolk housing estate left high and dry by the company.

Dozens of residents of Badersfield, former RAF Coltishall, visited AW's mobile customer support unit to ask questions and hear explanations.

Homes on the estate suffered at least three weeks of low pressure which culminated in hundreds being without any water on May 14 and 15.

And it took until the morning of May 15 for AW to admit responsibility for the fault, on a pipe under its control leading to the estate.

It had previously blamed Preim, the management company responsible for pipework within the estate.

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AW has now apologised, offered affected households £50 and is going to take over responsibility for all the estate's pipes.

All those visiting the mobile unit on Saturday were relieved that the historic tangle of responsibility would end, with AW assuming control for the whole pipe network serving the estate.

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And many gave credit to AW for turning up with seven staff to answer critics.

But some were still frustrated, and others felt the payment offer was not enough.

Dan Dawber praised AW's 'humble' climbdown, but said the firm had denied responsibility, left a recorded message on its phone and would not deliver water to the community when supplies dried up.

'This is Norfolk, not Somalia. Surely we are entitled to a bit of clean water?' said Mr Dawber.

He, wife Sophie and their one-year-old son Teddy had spent three weeks visiting relatives to take showers and wash clothes and on May 14, when there was no water, had to buy supplies from a supermarket to sterilise Teddy's bottles.

He felt £25 a day for interrupted supplies would be more appropriate.

Terri Denington said she had spent three weeks having to run baths, which took an hour to fill, because pressure was so low her shower would not work.

'I'm happy with their apology but it's not an easy fix for £50,' she said.

Sam Heffer said she and her husband had struggled with freezing water, boiling water and no water for three weeks.

'It's nice that they (AW) are here and doing something about it but it was very frustrating that no-one would accept the blame at the time,' she said.

AW's David Ward, head of water networks, said they were still investigating what had gone wrong.

Lessons had been learned about the way complaints on May 14 had been handled.

'Clearly we are sincerely apologetic,' he said. 'Our reaction and support could have been better.'

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