Wigan township homes hit by water pressure issues - neighbourhood group demands council action

A community group is demanding the council investigates a lack of water in a Wigan township which it fears may be caused by far too many new homes being built there without the necessary infrastructure.

In mid-September, Standish residents began to complain of water loss from their taps, very low pressure or discoloured liquid.

United Utilities rushed dozens of water tankers in, replacing them 24 hours a day to keep some water flowing.

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Water tankers called into Standish

UU says that the recent issues are likely to have been caused by works on a local reservoir which should now be resolved, while the council says the company has not raised concerns about infrastructure as part of local house-building plans.

But neighbourhood forum Standish Voice fears a recurrence as building continues.

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Standish has seen more than 1,000 homes spring up since 2015, with the “village” set eventually to grow by a quarter when all current planning permissions are completed, and Standish Voice says there has been a “woeful lack” of infrastructure put in place to mitigate this.

Water tankers have been situated at Cranleigh, next to one of the huge housing estates on land that was the former Standish Golf Course, and on Green Lane, near the highest point in the village.

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Standish Voice says there have been water and electricity supply problems for a number of years, culminating in the current situation.

A spokesperson said: “We want Wigan Council to step in and investigate why this is happening. Hundreds of homes have been affected and United Utilities does not seem to know when it can solve this.

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“People have had to put up with HGVs being replaced 24 hours a day outside their homes and the constant noise, as well as an inadequate water supply right across the village.

"The problems have been happening for almost a week and is totally unacceptable.

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“Wigan Council has seen hundreds of homes built in Standish over the past few years and we still have not seen an improvement in infrastructure to compensate.

"They are sitting on millions of pounds of contributions from developers to improve infrastructure in Standish and we need to see some action.

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“The council needs to investigate whether the water problems we are experiencing is due to unsustainable pressure on the water system and work with United Utilities to solve this, if this is the case, or reassure the community that the water system can cope with the huge numbers of households now in Standish.

“We hope this is just a one-off problem that can be solved quickly. However, many people in the village believe it is a lack of foresight and planning by the council in the provision of basic services which are now being overloaded so much that situations like this arise.”

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A council spokesperson said: “The council carries out consultation with United Utilities alongside other utility companies, and local and national organisations when assessing any planning application for new development.

“United Utilities have not made the council aware of any fundamental concerns about infrastructure, equipment or delivery of their services when development in the area was undergoing consultation before it was given planning permission.

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“We know this situation is very disappointing and disruptive for local residents, and we will work with United Utilities to assist them as appropriate.”

A UU spokesperson added: “Over the past few months we have been carrying out improvement works at a reservoir in Standish to ensure we can continue to deliver high quality drinking water. A brief interruption during the final stages last week may have caused poor pressure, discolouration or a loss of supply to some customers.

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“Our network team were in the area to resolve this over the weekend, using our water-on-wheels tankers to help keep taps flowing. Because the road network is quite compact in places, and to ensure we could pump water to higher areas, some of these vehicles unfortunately had to be placed in residential streets.

“We have now completed the enhancement project and restored the reservoir and network to normal operations.

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"We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank customers for their patience.”