Concern after council prohibits hosepipe use

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Allotment holders have been told they can no longer use hosepipes until a council has figured out how to comply with water restrictions.

Stamford Town Council sawed off the hosepipe connections from the taps in its Uffington Road allotments on the advice of Anglian Water.

The utility company inspected the site and found the taps were not preventing water flowing back into the system, putting the water supply at risk of contamination.

Councillors are considering whether to install non-return valves or water troughs. But some allotment holders are angry that hosepipes have been banned.

Terry Dean, 55, has held an allotment in Uffington Road for two years. “We were quite amazed when we found out,” he said.

Mr Dean wants the council to install the non-return valves, but has concerns about the idea of troughs. The council is trialling troughs at its Queen’s Walk site, but no decision has been made for Uffington Road.

“If they put troughs in they get full of algae, which doesn’t help your allotment.

“Kids use the troughs. If weedkiller gets into the water then its a health and safety issue.”

South West Lincs Home Start runs an allotment in Uffington Road called Kid’s Patch.

Mr Dean said he would not mind paying higher water rates to cover the cost of the non-return valves.

Civic officer Mark Murtaugh said hosepipes has been prohibited since January 1. He added: “Water troughs are being trialled at the Queen’s Walk site but no decision will be mad until the trial is completed. Discussion with site representatives regarding the water issue are on going.”

Anglian Water spokesman Emma Staples said: “We have a rolling programme of inspections to check that properties’ plumbing meets strict standards. At a visit to the allotments in Uffington Road our inspector noted that the taps did not have suitable backflow protection in place which could put water quality at risk.

“We’ve since been in contact with the town council to offer advice on what action they need to take to reduce this risk. We’re also continuing to work with them to help increase water efficiency across the area.”