Water leak destroys crops

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AN ANGRY farmer has criticised a water company after almost £30,000 worth of his crops were destroyed by a leak.

The field where Paul Phillips from Globe Farm, Dodford, was growing wheat flooded after Anglian Water took almost a week to fix a leaking underground pipe.

As a result, about £27,000 worth of crops at the field, near the turn off to Everdon on the A45, have been destroyed - 10 per cent of Mr Phillips’ annual income.

When the leak was first reported to Anglian Water on Friday, November 26 it said it would be repaired two days later.

Mr Phillips said: “It was only a puddle when the leak first started but it soon turned into lots of water.

“There must have been trillions of gallons of water over the field and it has completely destroyed my crops.”

Work to repair the pipe and clear the water finally started on Thursday last week.

But the problems have not ended for Mr Phillips as Government department Defra now needs to do a soil analysis to find out whether crops can still be grown in the field.

He added: “The water will not only have washed away the nutrients in the soil, but there may also be waste in the soil which means you can’t grow crops.

“It could take years for the soil to be at the standard where we could grow crops again.”

Anglian Water has apologised for the delay in dealing with the problem.

A spokesman for the company said: “Due to the recent cold weather, we have had problems in getting out to deal with water leaks.

“We unreservedly apologise for what has happened to Mr Phillips and are working hard to resolve the problem.”

The spokesman added the company is working with Mr Phillips to arrange compensation, a claim which he rejects.

He said: “I have not had any contact with Anglian Water about compensation.

“I am not hopeful that we will get anything from Anglian Water.

There were some pipes replaced three years ago and Anglian Water promised it was going to sort out compensation.

“I am still waiting for that so even if something does happen, I doubt it will happen quickly.”