A woman was left with water “gushing” out of a burst pipe on the outside of her home as four separate bodies have been unable to help.

Michele Metcalfe, 56, from Church, contacted an emergency plumber, the fire service, and her house insurance provider to see if they could stop the water spraying onto the patio in her back garden.

The pipe had frozen during the recent cold weather but burst once the temperatures started to rise again over the weekend.

Michele called the plumber at around midnight when the leak began and was quoted a £175 call-out charge, which she said she could not afford.

The fire service also was unable to help due to it not being close to any danger, such as electrics, while her insurance company said there was nothing they could do as there had been no damage to the property.

United Utilities also said because it was on Michele's property and not a public highway, it was not their responsibility.

The issue has been temporarily fixed by Michele’s son-in-law but she is desperate to find a permanent solution so the pipe does not start leaking again.

She said: “My son-in-law said that we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that it’s going to last until we can afford to get it looked at properly after Christmas.

“In the end all we’ve been able to do to stop the water is cut the pipe, press the top of it together and bend it over. It’s stopped the water coming out of the pipe for now.

“I have bipolar and a lot of mobility issues. I lost my husband four years ago and it’s been hard because usually I’d have shouted him to come and sort things out. What’s going to happen if it goes wrong again?”

Residents across East Lancs have had water shortages or reduced water pressure due to frozen pipes in the recent extreme weather.

As temperatures began to rise again, United Utilities offered some advice for householders on what to do as the weather got warmer.

  1. As the temperature rises, check your pipes in any cold places such as the loft or garage - can you spot any water dripping from the pipe?
  2. Find your stop tap, which is usually under the kitchen sink and turn it clockwise to turn off the water.  
  3. Turn off your heating, open all your taps to drain the system quickly.
  4. Soak up any escaping water with towels.
  5. Check with your home insurance company to see if you're covered for leaks and bursts or call a plumber.
  6. If you need to find a plumber in your area visit www.watersafe.org.uk
  7. If water has leaked near your electrics switch them off at the mains.