Leaky pipes will be upgraded, say water company

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Water pipes in Alfriston will be upgraded according to South East Water, following complaints about a number of water leaks, which residents claim have flooded the village and damaged property.

Dr June Goodfield, who owns the Manor House, which is a grade II listed building in the High Street, said her home and other houses in the village had been affected by flooding in the last three years.

She claimed little is being done to solve the issue and there had been three leaks outside her home since February. Despite repairs she said the community is worried the problems will re-occur unless new infrastructure is fitted.

She listed one incident in March where a leak saw water continually run through the High Street and to the foot of listed properties.

Dr Goodfield wrote a letter to South East Water about the situation and said the company’s attitude to the problem was a ‘disgrace’.

She said: “The traffic through the village has increased hugely over the decades: some 4,000 vehicles go through every day and these have been accurately counted. Yet although leaks and floods have occurred with painful regularity, your company has so far resisted all pleas to put in an infrastructure suitable for the demands of the 21st century.”

South East Water said it was aware there had been a number of water leaks on the communication pipes and water mains in Alfriston over the last few months.

The company said it acted quickly to carry out the repairs and said it takes the upgrading of old water mains extremely seriously and has an ongoing programme of investment across its supply area which will see a total £75 million spent between 2010 and 2015.

The company said it does have plans to upgrade the existing pipelines and communications pipes within The High Street and North Street, and these recent leaks have highlighted the need for that work to take place.

Steve McIntegart, project manager at South East Water, added: “We are in the very early stages of negotiations with East Sussex Highways as to when our upgrade work within Alfriston can take place.

“Work to resurface roads within Alfriston took place recently which means we may have to wait until a construction embargo has been lifted to carry out our work, however, we are continuing to speak with East Sussex Highways as to whether our work can start prior to the lifting of that embargo.”