Southern Water failed to fix leak that made basement damp

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For the last two weeks the manhole outside our neighbour’s property has been leaking in a steady flow. We are now getting damp coming through our basement walls.

Southern Water sent someone to investigate but it was impeded by my neighbour’s scaffolding. He immediately took it down, but Southern has not reappeared, despite numerous calls from us. Customer service is like pushing jelly uphill and tens of thousands of litres of water are disappearing.

DG, Brighton

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Southern Water conjured up a technician within a day of my contact and the job was completed in two hours – less time than you spent trying to get hold of the company. Its recalcitrance is disgraceful especially since, as, it admits itself, the south-east is a water-stressed area.

The blame, predictably, is attached to Covid. “Restrictions and changed working practices have made call-outs more difficult and occasionally it has taken longer than normal to make repairs,” it says, before thanking you for your patience. If the leak has damaged the properties, Southern says you need to report it to your insurer. So although the leak is fixed, you face more hours of admin.

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