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Water supply disrupted by new bursts; AM's investment call over infrastructure.

Byline: Jonathan Evans

TWO further burst mains left hundreds more people in the Rhondda without water.

Acrack inapipe on Trehafod Road, Trehafod, yesterday left about 600 homes either with no supply or with water that was severely discoloured.

Engineers repaired that fault but a second crack emerged immediately after. This was also fixed later in the day.

The bursts come days after more than 5,000 homes and businesses were left without water in the Rhondda Fach valley when freezing weather caused pipes to explode.

Dwr CymruWelsh Water said the main in Trehafod had been repaired by 2.30pm yesterday.

But locals had woken up to dry taps and dark brown water.

Donald Gatcombe, 80, of Coedcae Road, Trehafod, said: "I woke up this morning and tried to do the washing up after breakfast at about 9.30am.

"I found there was low pressureon the tap so I hadaquick word with my neighbour to see if he was having problems as well, which he was.

"At first the water coming out was a dark brown colour, but then the pressuredropped further until there was no water at all. I filled up the kettle and saucepans before it stopped but I don't know if I would drink it even for tea because it was quite brown."

Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews has written to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water, calling on the company to bring forward investment in the pipes and infrastructure supporting the Maerdy Water Treatment Centre.

Mr Andrews also raised questions concerning the supply of information to residents on the first day of this week's disruption. In his letter to Dwr Cymru Welsh Water's managing director Nigel Annett, Mr Andrews said: "You need to accelerate your investment in the infrastructure, including pipes, supporting the Maerdy Treatment Centre.

"It is clear that the pipes are old and not fit for purpose."

A statement from Dwr Cymru Welsh Water said: "We were alerted to a burst water main in Trehafod Road, Trehafod, which affected supplies to approximately 600 properties.

"We immediately dispatched a team who are currently on site carrying out the necessary repair work.

"Some customers may experience low pressure or water discolouration as supplies return to normal. Customers who experience water discolouration at times like this are advised to run the tap for a short period until water runs clear. This is quite normal; however, if people have any concern about their supply they can call our operations helpline on 0800 0520130.

"We would like to take this opportunity to apologise to residents for any inconvenience caused."

jonathan.evans@mediawales.co.uk

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REPAIRS: Water workers tackle a burst pipe in Trehafod PICTURE: Richard Williams
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 9, 2009
Words:445
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