A DAD claims a water leak has caused thousands of pounds of damage to his property after it took more than two years to fix.

Rafiq Patel has been offered compensation by United Utilities but claims the company is still refusing to accept responsibility for the issue.

Mr Patel, 42, said the walls in his front and back room had been affected by damp, there were puddles under his floorboards and a stream through his front yard.

He said he feared for his and his family’s health due to the smell of sewage throughout his home in Carr Street, Blackburn and that it had brought cockroaches into the property.

Water bosses said they 'appreciate the investigation work took longer than expected' and have offered compensation as an apology.

The dad-of-three said: “They offered me £700 but what is that for? They have not given me any answers and that will not cover the cost of damage to the property.

“My floors are knackered, none of my doors close properly and my walls are damp.

“My daughter and I suffer form asthma and have been inhaling that polluted water.

“We have suffered for two and a half years.

“We have lived like animals for that time. I haven’t been able to do anything in my house and it is now a mess.

“My children would not sit in the house. We were practically living at my dad’s house nearby.

“We have all been suffering from the smell. People were being sick outside my property because of it. I had to throw buckets of water to clean it up.

“People would come to my door and say ‘Raf that stinks mate’.

“None of my relatives would come to my house."

Mr Patel said the problem was fixed after work was carried out on a public sewer at a nearby property in Blackburn Street.

He said he had a letter from the landlord of the property confirming the work, but questioned why this was not referred to in any of the correspondence he received from United Utilities despite them discussing other properties as part of the investigation.

Mr Patel said it is because United Utilities would be forced to admit it was its asset, however water bosses insist it was a private issue.

The security worker said: “There could be others like me suffering this kind of problem.

“I am willing to go to court to get the truth out about this situation.”

A United Utilities spokesman said: “I’m sorry to hear Mr Patel is unhappy.

“We are satisfied that the issue has been thoroughly investigated and have explained to Mr Patel on a number of occasions this issue is very much a private matter.

“We understood that the water present at the property was very distressing and so we continued to help look for the source.

“We are pleased the problem is finally fixed, but we appreciate that the investigation work took longer than the customer would have wished for.

“To reflect this, we did offer compensation as an apology.”