Mystery leak dampens start of cricket club’s season

A CRICKET club is likely to cancel its first matches of the season because a four month-long leak has left its ground waterlogged.

The leak, emanating from a bank overlooking George Meadow in Battle, was first reported to South East Water just before Christmas.

But despite several visits to the site, waterboard officials still can’t find the source.

Now Battle Cricket Club says the constant leak, coupled with recent heavy rainfall, has taken its toll on the grounds and may force the club to cancel its first match of the season, which is scheduled for tomorrow (Saturday).

Phil Harrod, of Battle Cricket Club, said: “It affects at least half the ground.

“Of course the additional rain on top is not helping, but it’s been an issue for about four months.

“Obviously the leak has meant there’s a layer of water already there and rain on top has compounded the problem.”

Just after Easter, South East Water said tests showed traces of chlorine in the water, seeming to confirm it was from a mains supply.

But Phil claims the company had no plans to show where its pipes are located and when South East Water finally found a stop cock, it had not been used for so long that tree roots were blocking access.

A tree surgeon is due to remove the tree shortly.

Meanwhile a local resident has even employed his own contractor in an effort to discover where the mystery leak is coming from, but to no avail.

Phil said: “This leak has been on-going for over four months.

“How many thousands of galleons have been lost? This also in our time of drought.

“They (South East Water) have not been very productive, shall we say.

“They are doing their best to think it’s somebody else’s problem.

“We are not too happy with their over all approach.

“We just want them to get on with doing something about it as quickly as possible.

“If we had more communication from them, we would feel much more reassured. ”

Any cancelled cricket matches cannot be rescheduled, potentially costing Battle Cricket Club vital points.

A spokesperson for South East Water said: “We have been investigating reports of a leak on Battle cricket green using our sophisticated leakage equipment which has so far proved unsuccessful.

“Samples taken from site show that it could be water from a main, however this isn’t a certainty.

“Unfortunately a tree is blocking access to the cricket club’s stop tap which is hampering our progress in finding and fixing the leak.

“The council are due to remove the tree which will enable us check for any potential leaks on the stop tap.

“In the meantime, we are carrying out further investigations and tests to ascertain whether the water is in fact mains water so that repairs can be carried out as quickly as possible.

“We apologise for any inconvenience this may be causing and thank our customers for their patience during this time.”