HOUSEHOLDERS who have been without water for the last three days have slammed Welsh Water’s response as “appalling”.
According to Herefordshire Council, over 360 homes in the Llangrove and Llangarron area have been affected, alongside people living on upper Manson Lane near Monmouth, Garway, Broad Oak and Llancloudy.
Residents say they have hardly had any communication about the problems, which began early on Monday morning, with the last message a text sent to residents yesterday (Tuesday, December 20) at 8am saying “We’re sorry you may have no water, or low pressure. For further updates, click here www.dwrcymru.com/ya”.
An alert then refers to ‘operational issues’ affecting the Ledbury, Ross-on-Wye, Llandrindod Wells, Vowchurch areas, but nothing specific to north of Monmouth.
A post says: “We’re continuing to work around the clock to restore all supplies as quickly as possible.
“We are using tankers to refill the water mains in order to restore and maintain water supplies. Thank you for your patience.”
One resident who phoned the emergency line at 8am on Monday was told the problem was a failed pump, and supplies should be restored by mid-day.
Others who called were later told mid-afternoon, and then by 6pm, but the supply did not return on Monday or Tuesday.
Hundreds of homes in the Golden Valley area north of Abergavenny are also without water.
And South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman, whose constituency includes Welsh Newton, Llangarron and Llangrove, slammed the response this morning, posting on Twitter: “The comms from @DwrCymru have been dire. We need action from them this day.”
Yesterday (Tuesday, December 20) the council said it had been informed “the supply is returning but could take a few hours before all households are back to full pressure”.
But many woke this morning (Wednesday, December 21) to find they still had no water or any further information from Welsh Water.
One woman labelled it “utterly appalling” on the Welsh Water Facebook page.
Huw Bellamy from Welsh Newton, two miles north of Monmouth, posted initially: “Complete lack of updates other than a text this morning saying should be back on this afternoon.
“Late evening no water still in our area, Welsh Newton. Poor customer service.”
And when the water hadn’t been turned back on by Tuesday, he wrote: “Welsh Water this is (a) total shambles, still no water.
“False completion times, continually just fobbing us off. Households with families now with no water for over 36 hrs.”
Claire Williams from Llangrove added: “Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, the link you have provided is not for the area I live in.
“The lack of communication begs belief. Whilst I appreciate teams are working around the clock to resolve these problems there is no reason for not communicating the current situation. It is just not good enough.
“I would hope that you would have the decency to automatically credit every account affected with the daily amounts as outlined on your website.
“You also need to appreciate that there are many who don’t have access to the internet and would not know how to claim compensation for all the inconvenience caused.”
David Lewis from nearby Broad Oak added: “The website does not provide regularly updated information and is continually out of date.
“Broad Oak has been without water for over 48 hours and the lack of information being given to residents is staggering.
“If you ask what the problem is you are told ‘operations difficulties’ - what on earth does that mean?
“Someone in authority should tell us EXACTLY what the problem is and when it will be repaired.
“At this rate we won’t have any water for Christmas.
“We can’t flush toilets, wash, shower/bath or wash up, etc, and are not even being provided with alternative supplies.”
Kim 'Barlow' Evans from Garway labelled it “most incompetent”.
And Catrin Ann Lewis told the utility: “According to your map we have water. We haven't had a drop since yesterday morning!
“How are we supposed to know what's happening "in our area" if your website isn't correct?”
A Welsh Water representative responded online to complaints, saying: “We are currently trying to get as much water delivered as we can, unfortunately stocks are low but we will update as soon as we have the water to hand out.
“Our teams are working hard to try to get this issue resolved as soon as we can, I am sorry about the inconvenience.”
Welsh Water were asked to comment, but haven’t responded to date.