Damage from flooding considered an insurance issue

LAIRD HARPER
Last updated 05:00 19/12/2012

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Compensation has been ruled out for residents adversely affected by a burst Stratford water main on Monday.

Stratford District Council asset director Sven Hanne said it would probably become an insurance matter, depending on the damage caused.

Mr Hanne said 2707 properties were left without water for six hours, but only two homes, in Regan St, were damaged by flooding.

"The most significant damage, I am aware of, is to the road surrounding the site," he said.

The pipe "catastrophically" failed just hours before it was meant to be fixed, but once the water was shut off, "it was a straight repair" job, Mr Hanne said.

The cause of the rupture remains a mystery.

"We will be sending a section of the failed pipe away for testing but, going on prior experience, have little hope for a conclusive result."

Inspecting water pipes would cause more issues than it would solve, Mr Hanne said. "Unlike wastewater systems, it is almost impossible to send cameras down water supply pipes and again, the damage, cost and disruption would be unlikely to justify the potential benefits.

"To put it in perspective, over its 20-ish years, this pipe has failed four times with one of the failures caused by third party damage."

The council would now identify locations where it could divert water around any further failures, rather than shutting off water to the whole town.

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