A local resident, who is having work carried out on her house, writes with the following ominous warning: "Water, water everywhere......but not a drop to drink.
During the course of the afternoon, our builders hit a snag. Our main water input pipe was not where we all thought it would be and the first sign of this was...yes, you've guessed it, water. Not where water should be, in the pipe, but as a water feature, like a miniature Versailles."
"Fortunately for us, Chris, our quick thinking builder, located the main stopcock at the house boundary and switched off said water before we had the village pond in our garden. He then rectified the 'fault', presumably by joining the pipe back together – I wasn't around at this stage, so sorry to be vague here. I'd beetled across the road for facilities, sympathy and a nice cup of tea."
"The trauma didn't start until Chris tried to switch the water back on when the stopcock more or less came away in his hands. Not totally surprising as it is as old as the house by the look of it. Still I remained calm, right up to the moment when the United Utilities refused to come out to replace it."
"It would seem that the correct procedure is for householders to inform the water board and DO NOTHING but wait. Now, bearing in mind the length of time the Shropshire Street water feature took to cure (see " Ode to a Leak " by Geoff Seddon 15/11/06), my coal, which we keep down the cellar – in preference to keeping it in the bath – would now be waterlogged and the garden a lake. But at least we would have followed the correct procedure."
"Calling the powers that be is a fairly thankless task. They are not there to provide a service, just to protect themselves and save money, or so it seems to me."
"In fairness to United Utilities, we are now apparently on tomorrow's work schedule – and then there will be the payment wrangle. Quick thinking saved an insurance claim but the b...s will get you one way or another. So remember, even if you are taking to the life rafts, if you have a leak, do not touch the stopcock. As far as my significant other half, the hunter gatherer, is concerned, every cloud has a silver lining – he says this is obviously a sign that one should stick to drinking wine."
"And a big thank you to our neighbours for bailing us out, almost literally, in our hour of need."
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