WATER bosses have been blasted for failing to plug a Wigan burst pipe during the drought.
Thousands of gallons have been bubbling through to the surface in Poolstock for weeks now as the sun beats down and commentators speculate about the possible introduction of a hosepipe ban.
One neighbour who did not wish to be named insists that he reported the problem to United Utilities who politely thanked him for taking the trouble to call but had subsequently failed to send out a team of engineers to mend the clearly-significant leak until two days after the Post made inquiries.
A spokesman for the drinking water suppler said today that it had met the OFWAT regulator leak repair target for the past seven years.
The resident who reported the leak at least five weeks ago described water company advice to people to use water wisely during the hot and dry spell as “weasel words”.
He said: “Maybe they should put their own house in order first.
“We are being told we are getting towards a drought situation but the water has been flowing up to the surface and through the road since early June when I first reported it but nothing is being done about it. I have had no reply from them to say it is on a list to be sorted.
“With the cars and lorries going through it the water is being spread up the length of the road by tyres to evaporate in the sun, which is wasting even more.
“And all these thousands of gallons are only the ones you can see because there must be just as much disappearing into the bowels earth, never to been seen again.”
A spokesman for United Utilities apologised and said that the leak took much longer than expected to repair.
He said: “This was on an extremely busy road and the local authority understandably would only allow us to do the job on a Sunday.
“Also, the main lies next to a high-pressure gas pipe, which meant we had to discuss with the gas supplier before we went in.
“Finally, we initially thought this was a simple repair, but when we dug down, we realised it was more complex than we first believed and we would need to warn our customers that we would turn off the water supply.”