PERSISTENT water leaks have been causing anguish for fed-up residents who claim they have been left with little or no water on several occasions.

People living in Billington say no less than seven water leaks have been reported to United Utilities since the end of July, and they are sick of the temporary repair jobs to the pipes, with one resident calling for a longer-term solution.

The resident, who lives on Billington Gardens, just off Whalley Road, said since July 29 he and his neighbours have experienced seven mains water leaks, which has left them with very low pressure in their taps, but sometimes no water at all.

He said: “The seven leaks have so far been on July 29 and 31, August 13, 17 and 28, then one on September 1 and the most recent one on September 3. And I’ve lost count of how many more there have been this year before July.

“This surely has to be some sort of record? I’ve phoned United Utilities and once they accept there’s a problem they make repairs fairly promptly.

“However, when reporting it they have tried to book in a home visit for a few days later as they wrongly think the leak is just affecting one house when really it’s affecting the whole area.”

The resident, who did not wish to be named, said there has been temporary traffic lights outside the Billington Village Store for more than a week, while engineers from United Utilities attempt to fix a burst pipe from the leak last week. However, he said any repairs only seem to be temporary because, as soon as the leak is fixed, another leak will occur just days or weeks later.

He said: “They’ve told me it’s something to do with the pressure being too high, but it must be costing them thousands to constantly send someone out to fix. I can’t understand why they don’t find a longer-term solution to this. We’re utterly fed up, my next door neighbours couldn’t even have a shower the other day.”

Ribble Valley Borough Councillor for Whalley and Painter Wood, Cllr Ged Mirfin said the existing pipes in Billington, which were laid in the Victorian era, were not fit for purpose anymore, and United Utilities’ efforts to ‘bolt on’ to the pipework has only caused further issues.

Cllr Mirfin said: “Engineering wise, this infrastructure is very high quality, but it is only designed to cope with a limited number of houses.

“This was added to in the late 50s and early 60s, but recently there has been a 35 to 40 percent increase in the number of new builds in the village.

“This means United Utilities have had to torque up the pressure to maintain supply, with disastrous results - it’s a bit like taking the sump oil from a Fiat UNO which has been standing idle on a drive in a dodgy postcode area and then transferring it to a Rolls Royce Silver Phantom, turning the key in the ignition and wondering why the engine explodes.

“Residents on Pasturelands Drive have had leaks on boilers, washing machines, dishwashers and taps, and are having to have regulators fitted on their mains to regulate the pressure.

“The whole mains supply in Billington needs a radical overhaul but this will be extremely messy, disruptive, and lead to a large amount of the road being dug up.”

A spokesperson for United Utilities said they were sorry for the disruption and were grateful to residents for their continued patience, adding: “The problems were due to a series of burst pipes caused by high water pressure in the area.

“The good news is that we are going to install a pressure management valve in the village.

“We are now in the process of designing and manufacturing this valve and applying for permits to carry out the work and expect everything to be complete in about a month’s time.”