VILLAGERS plagued by water shortages and leaks say they are worried by high pressure problems they fear could force pipes to burst in their homes.

People living in Billington have had to put up with leaking pipes and taps and numerous mains bursts and are blaming the issue on extremely high water pressure from mains pipes serving the village.

By the beginning of September residents in Billington Gardens had experienced more than seven leaks in the space of a month, however, the problem is now affecting those living in the nearby Pasturelands estate, with many fearing the pipes could blow at any minute.

Leanne Swain, who has lived on Pasturelands Drive for 21 years, said she has never seen so many leaking water outlets.

“The problem is clearly not isolated to my home as I have been told three times now by different people experiencing the same problem,” she said.

“United Utilities admitted previously that the area has high pressure issues and after having three separate water fixtures replaced in the last week I now have a leaking shower and kitchen tap.

“Everytime we turn a tap, boiler or the washing machine on or off the pipes make a loud thudding noise due the pressure.

“Running a bath sounds like the Niagara Falls.

“My newly installed toilet cistern is still constantly hissing like it is trying to refill itself.

“I have spoken to numerous other villagers who are having the same problem.

“My concern is that we are going to have a major pipe burst causing major damage.”

Ms Swain has questioned whether in the event of a burst, United Utilities would offer to pay for any damage caused to residents’ property.

She continued: “I contacted United Utilities to ask for a water pressure test.

“They advised me to contact a plumber to do the test as there hadn’t been any other reports in our area and if the pressure was high they would refund the call-out fee.

“The plumber found it extremely high. He says we are lucky that other appliances including the boiler and water pipes haven’t blown.”

Ms Swain said United Utilities then visited and found the pressure in her pipes to be 10 bar - the pressure for a residential property should not exceed 5.5 bar - and suggested it was isolated to her home and advised her to fit a pressure reducing valve.

She said: “I’ve lived here 21 years and never had any problems.

“The water pressure is so high that any one of us could have a major house pipe leak at any time soon.”

Another resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “On August 29 the water mains burst outside the house just above me.

“It flooded my garden up to my front door and ran down to every house flooding all the front gardens.

“I turned my stop tap down to as low as I am able but with no effect.

“I’ve had to replace my bathroom taps as I had to twist the tap that much to turn it off it was at risk of breaking.

“I’m waiting for plumber to return to replace my kitchen tap for same reason.

“I’ve lived here for 24 years and have never known the pressure to be so high.”

Another resident, Tom Martin, measured the pressure himself after a fitting on his boiler failed.

He said: “It was the second one in a month, I thought I’d test my water pressure after seeing others were having trouble - it’s certainly not an isolated problem - 10 bar, which is 140psi - a regular car tyre has around 40psi pressure in - that’s very high.”

A spokesperson for United Utilities said they were sorry customers in Billington were experiencing issues.

“The area affected is very hilly and therefore pressures will vary between those customers at the top of a hill and those at the bottom,” the spokesperson said.

“However, we are in the process of installing equipment that will help improve pressure management in the area and reduce the risk of further bursts on the network.

“This work is expected to be completed at the end of September.”