A Hammer House of Horrors moment


Taffycat

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Picture the scene... there was I, brushing my teeth before bed, looking suitably foamy and rabid, but, as I turned on the tap to rinse, instead of nice, clear water, out gushed a very dark-brown, coffee-like substance! :eek:

Startled, I gurgle for Terry to come and look. It looked really 'orrible and left a residue of gritty "silt" in the basin.... yes, just like coffee grounds. It would clear for a few seconds, then gush dark-brown again.

So, we called Welsh Water's 24/7 line to report it (it was about half-past midnight.) Bloke took details, then asked us to ring back if it happened again...... It is still just as bad this morning. So made another call at 7:30 am, and they took more details.

Someone from Welsh Water then phoned about an hour later, to ask whether the water had returned to normal. No, it hasn't. "You have been running it, haven't you..?" Yes, we have, but it is still dark brown and leaving residues of silt!

So, they are supposed to be sending someone out "shortly" to take a look at the release valve thingy which is nearby. :rolleyes: But they don't seem to be in much of a hurry. We haven't been able to drink the water, so needed to pop out early to buy some from the supermarket - sans coffee.
:mad:

The grit is now affecting the loo flush, so we shall probably have to take the cistern apart to free it.
Can't use the shower, or washing machine. Can't even wash-up properly. So not feeling best pleased right now.:(

 
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nivrip

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Epidemic !

Well, what a coincidence. Awoke this morning to the sound of machinery and then found that the Water Board are digging a huge hole in the pavement on the other side of the road. One of the mains pipes has split.

So, no water here too. :(

However, they have provided, for free, bottles of water for anyone to pick up. So, we can, at least, have a cuppa. :) (but not a shower)

Just noticed that they are now extending the hole so it could be a long job. :(
 

cirianz

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We had the same thing happen here last year & they didn't seem in a rush to fix it either. Not much use now, but for the future you might want to get an outside water tank that collects rainwater, we have one that runs into our toilet & the header tank for our shower (It was a great 'relief' a couple of years ago when a broken pipe in port meant that the whole of the bay was without water for over a day) If the tank has an external tap you can get water from it for your kettle as well in an emergency such as you have now.
Mind you, you have to be careful, a couple of summers ago, when things were a bit dry so we weren't allowed to water the garden from the mains tap so I'd hooked the hose up to the tank, watered my flowers, hosed down the deck (removing traces of the goose), hosed out it's bath & was filling up the bath when I noticed the water was coming out was warm. Not only had I emptied the water tank, I'd also emptied the header tank and it was drawing water up from the hot water cylinder :blush: :blush: :blush:
We had to climb up into the roof & fill the header tank by hand in order to get it drawing again. John was pretty peed off that day lol.
 

Taffycat

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Right now Ciri, your rainwater collection idea is sounding very good. Look at this:



This is what we drew from the tap about five minutes ago... We have made further calls to the Water authority, but so far, no joy.
:(
 

cirianz

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euuck! loaded with vitamins & loads & loads of minerals!
 

floppybootstomp

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Bloody blimey, that is yucky :eek:

Perhaps a sewage pipe has split and is leaking into the water mains :lol:

Sorry :blush:

Does it pong?

Good luck for a solution there TC. If no fix forthcoming shortly, perhaps phone local TV station, that would make a good short feature for the local news and also kick the water board up the bum.
 

Taffycat

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floppybootstomp said:
Does it pong?
No, thank goodness!! :D

Welsh Water are still being very uncommunicative though, so Terry gave Environmental Health a call, to see whether they could help. To be fair, the young woman did get on to WW and was told that someone would look at it "early this afternoon." ... It already is, and they still haven't!

Apparently, there is work going on somewhere in the area, which is "affecting the mains" :)confused:...Niv, do you know anything about this? Lol) If that is the case, then why can't they put a message on their website, or a recorded message on the phone helpline? I think, once again, they are just trotting out this very old line, because they probably haven't a clue! By the look of it, they don't much care either.


Think it's time to start polishing my toecap... 'cause I can think of several ways I'd like to employ it right now!!
 

Taffycat

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The water inspector chappie arrived around 3 pm-ish, took a look at the samples we'd saved and seemed a bit surprised that it was quite so discoloured and yucky.

He released the water in the main outside, and let it run for about 20 mins. Our water looked nice and clear afterwards..........for all of a minute! Then whoosh! It turned to murky darkness again, just as bad as the above pic. :(

I'm sure there has to be a "cause" that needs to be investigated, because normally, our water is crystal clear here. However, they talk about moving the release-valve thingy by a few feet......why?? it hasn't caused probs previously and if it was responsible for the current problem, releasing it would surely have worked!

I despair, I really do! They don't appear to understand that one cannot shower/wash up and do all the other necessary things, with a couple of bottles of water. And Niv - you were lucky, they didn't even offer us a bottle of water here, we had to purchase our own!! :rolleyes:

 

muckshifter

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keep ALL water related receipts, including laundromat & swimming pool, err baths I mean and send to WB ... tell 'em you got to move to a hotel, 4*, on health grounds, and they will have to foot the bill. :D

are you the only one in your street with this err, water ? :confused:


oh I do like to be beside the seaside, oh I do like to be ... huh!, me have to shut up now, I hear someone coming. :wave:



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I'm no water engineer, but brown water like that normally has come from the main sewage drain?
What are WW doing to help you the customer?
 

Taffycat

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An update to the on-going water saga....

The dark brown colour is largely made up of sediment and gritty, silty stuff. When it settles, the sludge sinks, leaving a slightly paler tint. Not appetising... although, perhaps I'm wrong.....

You see, one female who answered one of Terry's phonecalls, announced to him that the water "would be perfectly safe to drink!" Of course, she didn't have special powers (so far as I'm aware,) so how on earth she could make that judgement without seeing the evidence, is anyone's guess!
(Silly moo!)


Eventually... stress levels at an all time high... we were contacted by a man who told us that he would be sending an inspector out to take a look. So somewhere around 6 pm (I think) he turned-up, and after seeing the state of the water, pronounced it to be "an emergency" .... oh and surprisingly, unlike his colleague, he most definitely didn't fancy taking a sip!! Lol

Within half an hour or so, there was a large hole being dug on the pavement outside, with blokes standing up to their knees in it. They put a filter on the pipe which, it was hoped, would cure the problem.

They seemed to think that the problem might be caused by the stop valve being situated a little distance from a fire hydrant, so that water and muckies built-up between the two (if we've understood it correctly...!) But after digging, it appears that there is some uncertainty about where the pipe is actually going! Aarrgh!!

So far, the filter is helping - but only a bit - because the water is still looking a bit brackish! We were told to let the taps run for an hour or so to thoroughly clear out any remaining stuff.... did that. Left them on for longer, in fact, but, as I mentioned, there is still some unwanted stuff coming through. We were also told to get in touch again tomorrow, if we're not happy. So we shall have to see whether the situation improves by morning.
:nod:
 

nivrip

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Better let you know what happened oop north. :D

We have Northumbrian Water here and they worked for about five hours non-stop. And then the water became available again so that we could use the washing machine, have showers and yes, flush the loos. Not having water for a couple of hours really makes you think. :nod:

They did a really good job, tidied up and swilled away all the soil that was in the road. They have left the large hole uncovered for now. I assume they do that to be able to check tomorrow that the leak has been completely sealed.

Can't praise them enough. (and how often can you say that) :thumb:
 

floppybootstomp

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I still say threatening Press involvement would make the Water Board try a little harder.
 

cirianz

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I aren't no expert but both John & I think that looks like a crack in the pipe, especially if you're getting so much silt in. Oh, and don't forget, if you end up having to call in a plumber to clear the silt out of your pipes & toilet, don't forget to bill that to the water board also. Seems to me their behaviour through all of this has been worse than negligent, especially after the first guy came and they were aware of the extent of the problem. It might be worth finding out what your actual legal rights are. I seem to recall that a case very similar to this in New Zealand back in the 40's or the like led to it being made law that government departments were legally liable for their actions and could be sued if they were found to be negligent. I don't know what the law is over there, & it seldom is worth the legal expenses to actually sue, but if it does apply over there & the situation is likely to be helped rather than hindered ( a judgement call only you can make) it might be useful to remind them if they are legally liable.
 

Taffycat

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floppybootstomp said:
I still say threatening Press involvement would make the Water Board try a little harder.
This was going to be our next step, once the 24 hours was up... I say 24 hours, because in our experience, it takes that (and sometimes more) for the desk-jockeys to get a grasp, and put one through to an actual "expert" who can understand the situation and DO something.

This is what kept happening yesterday. The people receiving our calls would promise to set things in motion, but not very quickly.

To be fair, the last fellow who arrived on the scene - Mr. Jones - really deserves some praise, because he was obviously quite appalled by the state of the water and immediately "phoned for back-up" (my term ;) too many US cop shows!! Lol) He got things moving very quickly (but Ciri is correct, the fellow who viewed it several hours earlier, really should have done that.)

Following my post last night, we turned the tap on fully again (the one from the rising main) and allowed it to run for several hours. It actually took that long before the water ran clear again, without "belches" of brown. With cautious optimism, it still looks clear this morning. A whispered yay!

cirianz said:
Oh, and don't forget, if you end up having to call in a plumber to clear the silt out of your pipes & toilet, don't forget to bill that to the water board also.
Yes Ciri, this was our big worry too - we didn't dare to run the hot-water system, fearing that the gunky stuff would travel around and foul it up. I daresay some has, but I honestly don't know whether Welsh Water would ever foot the bill for that.

A nearby neighbour of ours was telling us that she had a whole machine-full of washing ruined, when the brown-water thing happened to them. This was several months ago, apparently. The wife complained and was awarded the grand sum of £20 for spoilt clothes/linens or whatever. :eek:

Our biggest problem here, has actually been blasted building contractors/developers. They always seem to do a Mickey Mouse job of the water system. It now looks as if this might have happened on the most recent upheaval. A couple of years back, a further 12 houses were built on the field next door to us.

One day, one of the contractors announced that they would be teeing-in the new water system to the existing one. "Just here" says he.

".......er, don't think so." responds neighbour with local knowledge.

"Oh yes!! We shall just open up this access chamber..." pointing to a little man-hole-type cover, "...it will be very straightforward to join-up with the existing water system."

"No..." local shakes head sagely. "...That really wouldn't do at all, won't work."

"Oh but I can assure you... "

"And I can assure you too - it won't work, because that happens to be the BT manhole! The water access is that one over there!" Pointing to the relevant cover, on the other side of the street.

Gawd knows what kind of Heath Robinson water-pipe layout now exists. That is probably why the guys working on it last night were uncertain, when they had dug things up to get a better look.

Niv - I'm really glad your waterworks went so smoothly. Hope all is well there today :wave:
 

nivrip

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Niv - I'm really glad your waterworks went so smoothly. Hope all is well there today
No problems at all.

Time you got onto Northumbrian Water, TC. :D
 

Taffycat

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Someone from WW gave us a call this afternoon, to ask whether things were okay today. They confirmed that after the bank holiday, they intend to alter the location of the stop-valve (the one in the road outside.) It should, apparently, prevent further occurrences of this problem. :thumb:

Think I'd better use the weekend to ensure we're up-to-date on laundry, etc., before they get started. ;)
 
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crazylegs

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I'd run a few gallons of water into some containers too as otherwise it may cost you again for bottles of the stuff..

Don't forget to put your bill into the water company..
 

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