Villagers plagued for months by water leak misery can finally breathe a sigh of relief as United Utilities have been granted permission to start work on failing pipelines.

People living in Billington in the Ribble Valley have suffered with flooding, high and low water pressure, and leaks due to old pipes and faulty pressure management systems.

Lancashire Telegraph:

The problems left more than 400 residents without water last month, and even prompted local MP, Nigel Evans to wade in on the issue.

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And following numerous complaints and demands for action from United Utilities by Ribble Valley Councillors Ged Mirfin and Tony Austin, the water company announced this week that work would commence on the first phase of pipe replacement to help make the water network in the village more resilient.

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Billington and Langho Ward Councillor, Cllr Tony Austin said: "As phase one of a renewal project, approval has been given for the replacement of 250 metres of old main pipework starting on January 11.

"United Utilities have selected the worst length of existing pipe to replace, have already negotiated with the landowner and are getting the necessary permits.

Lancashire Telegraph: The damage caused to Jackie's garden due to the burst pipe on Friday night, which left 400 households in Billington without water

"I am really pleased that they have agreed to replace this portion of the ageing pipework with new pipes, which in the case of Billington Gardens was first installed around 1972.

"I believe they have also put in two more pressure regulators."

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Cllr Austin said he expects to be in contact with United Utilities at the end of the month regarding phase two of their work, which he believes would be commencing around February 1.

He added: "I understand that road signs are already being put up where the works are to take place, near the junction of Billington Gardens (where the worst cuts have occurred) and Whalley Road in the centre of Billington village.

Lancashire Telegraph: The damage caused to Jackie's garden due to the burst pipe on Friday night, which left 400 households in Billington without water

"I am delighted with United Utilities' prompt action so far this year and look forward to the promised improvements around Billington Gardens.

"Since the additional pressure regulators have been put in place, streets further from the main problems have experienced some improvements in the morning low pressure, with no difficulties at other times.

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"I recently visited the resident at Chapel Rise, who suffered a damaged garden bank following water ingress downhill from a burst.

"She is satisfied with remedial action and repair work that United Utilities are doing.

"Fortunately, water had not gone into her house.

"Other residents in Chapel Rise were pleased with the customer care that United Utilities had displayed after the event."

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A spokesperson for United Utilities said work is due to start in Billington on Monday and is expected to take around three to four weeks.

The spokesperson said: "The good news is that we have been granted permission to access the highway and some private land near Elker Mews and Petrewood Crescent.

"This means we can now go ahead and install two new pressure management valves and we are also going to install a 250m stretch of water main which will help make the local network more resilient.

“We have also developed plans to replace a further 1.2km stretch of water main in the Whalley Road and Painter Wood area which has been particularly badly affected by bursts.

"This second phase of work will start in February and take around six weeks to complete.

Lancashire Telegraph:

“We will be writing to local residents to update them about the plans and there will be further updates as work progresses with details of roadworks and any water shut offs that might be needed.

"Inevitably there will be some disruption while we do the work, but we will keep it to a minimum as far as possible.

"We’re grateful to residents for their patience in the meantime and we hope people will understand that the longer term improvements to the water network will make it worthwhile.”