Water, water leaking everywhere – but somtimes, not a drop to drink in Cranleigh and the eastern​ villages?

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Screen Shot 2019-09-20 at 14.28.29.pngApparently Cranleigh  Cllr Liz Townsend – can stand no more –  as pipes continue to burst all over Cranleigh and the nearby villages. Despite hammering home her concerns at a Flood Forum headed by MP Anne Milton –  incidents are getting worse – not better! Bombarding the utilities with e-mails isn’t getting the results she wants, for her increasingly frustrated residents.

Burst Pipes over recent months and years?

Her message:

“Those residents that came to the Flood Forum with Anne Milton MP will know that for some time I have been involved in an ongoing dialogue with Thames Water about the increasing number of burst water pipes in the village. I am attempting to create a map of the burst pipe areas to present to the next meeting. If over the past 2 years you have had a burst pipe near to your home, or place of work, or have had an interruption in your water supply, can you please post details here including the road name and if possible a rough idea when the issue occurred, or if you prefer you can email details to me on liz.townsend@waverley.gov.uk Please don’t post your full address on here. Thank you for your help.”

Here is a note supplied to us by The Cranleigh Society – which speaks up on village issues.

(Forgive us using the term ‘village or villagers’. Though we understand the mouthpiece for local businesses – Cranleigh Chamber of Commerce refers to Cranleigh as A TOWN, we understand, from comments we receive, it upsets many of you, so we are sticking to the term – village.


Mains replacement Thames Water is putting in a bid – waiting for more information.

SERA – Summerlands Residents’ Association – Thames Water has done some repairs, sections of pipe are being replaced – it is monitoring to see if it is stable or deteriorating – Thames Water needs to meet with Summerlands residents association to improve relations.

OTHER BURST PIPES ISSUES – people said they really struggle to get sensible and uniform responses from: online, or phone and the burst pipes teams, plus the burst pipe teams’ skills, vary widely…

The WW also understands from correspondence we have received that Thames Water is not recompensing villagers for high bills due to long-term leaks – some running into thouands of pounds!

SURREY HIGHWAYS – SURREY COUNTY COUNCIL’S POTHOLES MANAGEMENT – Its  website is good – but Thames Water’s is very difficult to use, especially to pinpoint leaks!

AMLETS LANE and Cala Homes –  now connected to mains supply and sewers. Thames Water carried out the research – no need for improvements. However, neighbouring residents are not satisfied.

A tree officer is being consulted –regarding completing some tree work there soon.    Water runs down the lane – but groundwater control not needed claim CALA – there are 6 balancing ponds – including on the western boundary ditch but the rate of the runoff is the same as before. Surrey County Council agrees that there is a leak which is not of CALA’s making, but there is a problem – local Highways officer – will get in touch if it is a problem again. Slightly better on Barhatch Lane – there was leaking TW plate – still leaking further up, fields’ runoff has stopped, water has stopped flowing down AMLETS lane.

RIPARIAN RIGHTS & DUTIES – DITCHES AND CULVERTS – it is the legal duty of landowners to ensure all ditches, culverts, and streams on their land are kept free-flowing and free of plants and rubbish.  If a property floods because of someone else’s failure to keep their waterways clean and clear the landowner is liable for heavy fines. (Riparian duty of householders and landowners – “Any landowner or developer whose property adjoins or contains a natural watercourse should be aware of their rights and obligations along the length of the watercourse known as riparian rights. Developing or using land without giving due consideration to riparian rights can lead to problems”)

WHAT DOES GROUND LEVEL MEAN?  Is the Amlets’ Lane development higher than it seemed on the planning permission?  When plans are presented for planning applications it is made clear how tall the overall buildings will be from ground level but never notes if the ground level is to be raised!

 ASBESTOS CEMENT WATER MAINS PIPES UPDATE – Anne Milton MP has followed up with Public Health England which is reliant on World.Health.Organisation research. 

Research is on-going. Not much we can do from here. Keeping up to date with the organisations is important – Environment Agency as well.  If 10s of 1000s of areas push for change more research will be done!   No studies have been carried out on ingested blue asbestos fibres – so no evidence has been looked for yet. A proper replacement programme of water pipes is needed to stop the constant problems with bursts and the constant health fear.

KERBS, GULLEYS, DRAINS AND VERGES  where water is unable to soak away and floods across roads residents need to report to get the kerbs, drains and verges cleaned and cleared. Surrey County Council Highways!

Homes completed and signed off:  8 at Berkeley Homes in Knowle, 48 Cala Homes in Amlets Lane.  21 completed and 6 nearly ready, at Bellway Homes, Little Meadow, Alfold Rd and 52 at Crest Nicholson in Horsham Road. 

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One house had a flooded drive for 6 months.  All these leaks need to be recorded and reported in a meaningful way over at least 3 years to see clusters. Cranleigh Parish Council and Thames Water to action this. Residents need to report.

HIGH STREET   Why has the High St been dug up 3 times recently?

Utilities When the Utility Companies dig up roads they should be repaired to their previous state – this is a big problem across the County.

WATER PRESSURE CHANGES – if the water pressure changes people must report it straight away to Thames Water so that they can find out why, and put it right.

WATER SUPPLY TANKERS  – these have been noticed during the summer – is Thames Water having to top up the reservoirs?

ELMBRIDGE ROAD developments – the building work seems to have slowed down and this is probably due to slow sales? (There are four development sites in Elmbridge and |Alfold Roads in West Cranleigh.)

FISH PASS (passage)  project – WEY forward – trying to open up the river WEY for improved fish passage, also flood alleviation project. Low water flow is affecting water quality. The Environment Agency is working alongside flood management projects.

SURREY WILDLIFE TRUST working to restore the rivers and streams, and  working with  others to join up the waterways and wildlife corridors.  A sum of money has been allocated to a small stretch of this work to take place in Cranleigh.


SEWAGE WORKS – Upgrade discharge permits in line to comply with the water framework.

THAKEHAM HOMES site in Elmbridge Road.   Required to put in a pump – to deal with a surcharge – protecting properties with a pump system rather than a gravity system because it is the lowest point in the catchment area/settlement. Storm tank capacity – Environment Agency agreed that there is sufficient storm tank capacity.

 Anne Milton MP charged all those present to take the actions spoken of and report back at the next Flood Forum


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