RESIDENTS in Tockholes have been forced to flush their toilets with melted snow in the latest of a series of water cuts.

Villagers said they had gone without water five times in the last six months because the electric-powered pump in Heys Lane used to deliver supplies to scores of homes had tripped out.

When the electricity supply to the village is cut, so is the water supply.

United Utilities bosses said they had found the cause of the ‘long standing issue’, but residents said they were still facing problems.

George Leavey, landlord of the Victoria Hotel said he had lost thousands of pounds because of the problems.

He said: “When we see the water pressure gradually going down it’s a sign, so we fill up buckets and extra bottles and can only serve a couple of meals before we run out of clean things and water.

“I’ve had to invest in two generators to help us cope with the power cuts, and we have to use water from a well outside to flush the toilet.

“In the last year we have had to claim several times on our insurance for loss of food and earnings, but that’s put our premiums up £100 a month.

“The system used in Tock-holes is very antiquated and the problems are happening every other week.”

A resident of West View Terrace, who asked not to be named, said: “We always have to make sure that we have bottled water in the house, and last time it happened, when we had bad snow, we had to melt snow to flush the toilets.

“You expect certain problems with living in a rural area, but not things like this in this day and age.”

Another resident of Tockholes Road said: “It’s a very big problem for the village.

“When the water goes off it can be off for anything between three and eight hours and you can’t do anything. You can’t run a tap, you can’t flush the toilet, nothing.”

A spokesperson for United Utilities apologised to residents.

He said: “We have been aware of this for some time and our engineers have been working to locate a fault on the network which is causing the power cuts.

“A fault occurred on January 16 on an underground cable in the area, which engineers discovered was the cause of this long-standing issue.

“Repairs were completed to the cable on January 19 and we are confident that this problem has now been resolved.”