Town may have its water shut off in bid to find leak

Phil Harrod with flooded cricket ground due to a 4 month leak. First game in season has to be cancelled.'03/05/12
Phil Harrod with flooded cricket ground due to a 4 month leak. First game in season has to be cancelled.'03/05/12

BATTLE may face having two water mains shut off in a bid to find the source of a leak which has been pumping out water onto the town’s cricket ground for eight months.

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

But after many cancelled matches and despite specialist tests and various samples being taken from the site, it is still not clear where the water is coming from.

South East Water has carried out a number of tests in the early hours of the morning in Battle High Street in a bid to find the source of the leak.Now the cricket club says the company could decide to shut off the main water feeds into Battle itself in yet another attempt to find the elusive leak.

In the mean time, South East Water has agreed to fund the cost of diverting the water into the main drain which runs along the top of the bank.

Battle Cricket Club have asked Battle Town Council to carry out the work.

Phil Harrod, from the club, said: “From the cricket club’s point of view, whilst we are happier that a practical solution seems to be nearer, and that the water company has at last seen that it has a public duty to do something, we are very unhappy that it has taken eight months to get this far.

“We have lost not only a number of cricket games, but also a lot of money, running into hundreds of pounds which a modest village cricket club cannot afford as we have bills to pay like any other organisation.”

A spokesperson for South East Water said: “We are continuing to investigate the waterlogging on Battle cricket green.

“We have taken samples from this site to determine where this water is coming from, however, results are continuously coming back as inconclusive.

“Despite the fact that it isn’t clear whether this is a leak we are responsible for fixing, or if the water is coming from another source, we will not cease our investigations until we have helped solve the mystery of where this water is coming from.

“During all our investigations, we have remained in close contact with the cricket club, local residents, Southern Water, the town council and the district council in order to get this problem resolved as quickly as possible.

“Compounding the issue for the cricket club is the poor state of the drainage. While drainage is not our responsibility we are investigating if we can help to resolve this problem too.

“We have been using our sophisticated leakage equipment to try to find the source of this water.

“One option to help ascertain if the water originates from a South East Water main is to carry out shutdown tests on the two water mains which feed into the area of the cricket ground, however as this will affect a number of residents in the area for a short period of time, this is an option that we will only pursue if all other investigations prove unsuccessful.

“We will, of course, inform local residents of any plans to do this and would try to carry out this work at night to reduce disruption.

“We are also looking at the possibility of this water coming from a drain close to a couple of nearby properties which may be contributing to the water in the cricket ground, however before this work is undertaken we need to look at the impact this may have as we want to fix the problem and not simply move it.

“We are continuing to keep the Battle Cricket Club informed and are working hard to help resolve the problem no matter whether the water is from our supply or another source.”