Despair at flood impasse

Shaun O'Hagan with children Shay and Joseph at his flooded garden.
Shaun O'Hagan with children Shay and Joseph at his flooded garden.
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A DAD is facing up to a very damp problem after his garden began repeatedly flooding - and he was told to fix it himself.

United Utilities initially rushed to the aid of Shaun O’Hagan when the pipe at the bottom of his Cleveleys home garden burst, flooding the yard and making it impossible for his two young sons to play outside.

But the firm says it has now emerged the pipe, which runs along the back of properties on The Close, is not its responsibility - meaning Mr O’Hagan will have to fork out for the costly repairs himself.

He said: “A couple of weeks ago the whole of my yard completely flooded.

“I found a pipe with a leak - United Utilities sent someone down and drained the yard but as soon as they did it filled up again.

“I had all these engineers saying they would take responsibility for it but on Saturday I had a phone call to say they would send someone out to fix it but then on Tuesday morning two engineers turned up and said it was a private pipe and I have to sort it myself.”

Mr O’Hagan acts as a full-time carer for his 20-month old son Shay, who has Down’s syndrome, as well as caring for his other son, 30-month-old Joseph, meaning the family rely on wife Victoria’s income. He said: “None of the residents knew this pipe was there and we’ve not got a fortune to pay for a plumber.

“To United Utilities this is a little job - all they have to do is pump out the pipe and fix it.”

But United Utilities say the pipe is a culverted water course, and not connected to the main sewer or water system.

A spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately it’s not our responsibility, it’s the responsibility of the people whose properties it passes through to maintain.”