Dribbling showers and useless washing machines - Water misery for Badersfield residents

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Dribbling showers, useless washing machines and baths which take hours to fill are making life miserable for hundreds in a north Norfolk community.

Frustrated residents of Badersfield, on the former RAF Coltishall base, say long-standing water problems have got much worse in recent weeks.

Now, they gamble on when to clean themselves, their children and clothes - hoping to hit a time of day when the water pressure is high enough to work.

Residents appear to have fallen foul of a tangled history of responsibility for water on the site, with all parties washing their hands of responsibility.

The base is also home to the Ministry of Justice-owned HMP Bure and Scottow Enterprise Park, belonging to Norfolk County Council.


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Anglian Water (AW), which supplies water to all the site's users and is responsible for pipework up to their boundaries, says it is co-operating with Badersfield residents' management company Preim to try and find out what has gone wrong but AW's pipes were definitely not at fault.

And Preim, which manages communal water supply pipes in Badersfield on behalf of two residents' companies, is also sure its network is not to blame.

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It has installed data loggers on pipework to record water pressure, expecting to confirm its belief that the problem lies either with AW's pipes, or in the council's 'private water main, upstream of the housing estates.'

But a council spokesman said AW had confirmed the problem was not caused by Scottow Enterprise Park .

The park had been having water supply problems for some time.

And work had not yet begun on a £1.8m project to improve water flow to units on the enterprise park planned to be finished by the end of the year.

Liz Hobbs, who lives on Cromes Place, Badersfield, said: 'I'm reaching boiling point - without any water.'

Ms Hobbs said she paid Preim £430 a year and AW about £50 per month and expected a decent water supply.

'We are literally getting nowhere, just banging our heads against a brick wall. It's a real headache. What we really need is clarification - it's all very confusing,' she added.

Ms Hobbs said she suffered from a painful rheumatic condition and needed a warm shower to 'get going in the mornings' but water pressure was only high enough at unpredictable times of day.

She had also been unable to use her washing when she had been suffering from a sickness bug.

Steve Riley, who lives in Badersfield and is chairman and a director of one of the residents' companies, said the situation was 'atrocious'.

Complaints are also rife among members of a residents' Facebook group.

Toni Collinge said: 'washed 3 kids in 1 bath which took aaaaages 2 fill!' Matt Overy added: 'Again I can't shower, wash up, or even make myself a cup of coffee. I'm sick of living like this.'

An AW spokesman said she sympathised with residents' plight and the company hoped that, in co-operation with Preim, the problem would be resolved shortly.

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