A LEAK which has been pouring water on to a cricket ground for nine months has finally been stopped, thanks to the town council.
The water has been leaking onto Battle Cricket Club’s George Meadow ground from a nearby bank since just before Christmas last year.
Despite extensive investigations carried out by South East Water, the company could not find the source of the persistent leak.
Following an appeal from the cricket club, Battle Town Council stepped in and asked their own contractor to investigate.
Town clerk Peter Mills said: “The town council was grateful for all the effort South East Water made on the assumption the cause of the problem was a water leak but the town council felt it was right to step in and deal with the consequences.
“We brought in our own expert which we have used previously and in light of his investigations it was decided to install a new drain to take water away to an existing drainage system.
“The results were immediate and the area is becoming increasingly dry.”
The council spent £4,500 on the investigation and the work, which included reinstating the land with top soil and reseeding.
South East Water had previously agreed to fund the cost of diverting the water into the main drain.
During his investigations, the council’s contractor found an existing drain at the site which had previously taken water, possibly from a spring, but over the years had become completely blocked and is now beyond repair.
Battle Cricket Club expressed its gratitude to the town council, but questioned why South East Water could not come up with a solution to the problem sooner.
The leak has cost the club an estimated £1,000 in lost revenue.
Stuart Reeves, chairman of Battle Cricket Club said: “BCC are pleased that the matter has finally been resolved and that water is no longer pouring onto the pitch.
“Our frustration remains however, in that it took nine months to come up with a solution in which time the playing area of the ground has been reduced.
“We have had to cancel matches this year partly due to the bad weather but compounded by the extra water on the outfield which has meant a loss of revenue of about £1000.
“We are a small club and can ill-afford such a loss”.
He added: “It took much persuasion, cajoling and publicity before South East Water even took an interest in the case.
“Even with all the technology at their disposal and, at a time when we are all being told water is becoming a precious commodity, they failed to ascertain from where the water was flowing.”
Paul Holton, leakage manager at South East Water, said: “Firstly, we are pleased that the problem with what transpires to be private drainage has now been resolved by the town council.
“We appreciate the frustration for all involved with trying to locate the source of the problem at Battle Cricket Club, our teams have spent a lot of time, effort and money in trying to get a better understanding of whether it was one of our own mains that was leaking.
“All this work has taken place without certainty that the cause of the problem was indeed our responsibility to fix.
“While it appears the problem has been resolved we will continue to look in the area for any potential leaks in order to help the cricket club resume normal service.
“We will continue working closely with local residents, the cricket club and the town council and thank all involved for their patience during this time.”