Massive sinkhole floods family garden – children forced to wear wellies to leave home

Runcorn: Mother discusses flooding outside family home

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Mum-of-two Faye, who lives in Runcorn, described the issue as a “water feature” outside the front of her family home and said that the issue has grown progressively worse over the past five months.

The front garden at the property began to fill with water in February but 35-year-old Faye Tig claims that despite repeated complaints to Riverside Housing, the problem has not been dealt with.

She said: “It’s like a little sinkhole and I’m scared I’m going to wake up one morning and my house is going to be underground!”

A burst water pipe has meant that the drive and garden is “completely waterlogged”, according to the mum, who says that food delivery drivers and the postman “won’t walk through it” as “it’s like ankle-deep water”.

The incident means her two children, nine-year-old Arif and seven-year-old Ayla have to wear wellies every time they set foot out of the family home to wade through the water.

In an interview with the Liverpool Echo, she described how bad the damage has gotten.

She said: “It’s like a water feature outside the house. I have to put wellies on the kids.”

The experience has also affected her day to day life.

She said: “I’ve been left with no tap water and I’ve been drinking bottles of water for months.”

The water-logging has become increasingly worse since Ms Tig initially reported the problem in February to Riverside Housing, who sent somebody out to take photographs of the incident.

The most recent issue is a burst water pipe, which Ms Tig claims couldn’t be fixed by a man who attended the property.

The damage is said to be caused by the roots of the six trees that occupy the family garden.

She reports that she contacted the housing association again in April as the situation didn’t improve.

She said: “When I noticed the water was getting higher and higher I logged it again. They came out about a month later and said they couldn’t do anything about it.”

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She claims that the housing association had “passed the buck” after her reports due to a lack of funding to do the repairs.

However, Riverside Housing denied the claims and explained to the Liverpool Echo that the delay was caused by trying to establish who owned the pipe network with United Utilities, and confirmed that the tap water to the property had not been affected.

Mark Burnett, Riverside’s head of assets strategy and delivery for the region, explained the reason for the delay, and said that “contractors attended the property last month and dug down to try and locate the leak which they couldn’t find, so recommended to us that a new water main should be installed and this was approved”.

As the situation progressively worsens, the mum claims there is now “an actual hole in the ground” caused by “when the men came out they dug about four foot deep and said they can’t fix it as it’s cracked all the way along”.

The persisting flooding has impacted Ms Tig’s life, as the mum who has a chronic health condition, said her mental health has suffered due to the stressful experience.

She said: “Since this happened it’s getting worse because I’m not sleeping.”

In response to the situation, Mr Burnett apologised for the delay.

He said: “We are sincerely sorry that it has taken longer than expected to fix the leak which caused flooding to Ms Tig’s front driveway.”

A visit earlier this week by the contractors has resulted in the work being carried out, and Mr Burnett apologised for the inconvenience caused to Ms Tig and confirmed that she would be compensated.

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