Digging down to get to bottom of water leak

PART of Downend’s King George V playing fields is set to be dug up to try to find the source of a water leak flooding the park.

Water was first spotted flowing from a bank, between Mangotsfield Cemetery and the sports pitches on the lower part of the playing fields, about five years ago.

Recently it has returned with a vengeance, and by March water could be seen steadily flowing from a hole in the ground, along the side of the pitches and into a pond-like puddle swamping the path behind homes in Farm Court.

But no one has claimed responsibility for any drains or pipes in the area – and the water could even be from a previously unknown spring.

Heather and Alan Chilcott, who live near and regularly visit the park, said: “When it rains, it turns into a river. 

“It is a waste of water in times when world resources are short. It is a total disgrace that the water company or the council have not done anything about it. 

“People like us are restricted from our daily exercise, as the slippery mud and flooded paths cause barriers which we cannot jump.” 

Downend & Bromley Heath Parish Council is responsible for the upkeep of the park, which is owned by South Gloucestershire Council.

Parish clerk Angela Hocking said discussions about the leak had first taken place in 2019.

But supplier Bristol Water and Wessex Water, which is responsible for sewage disposal, both say they have no pipes in the affected area and South Gloucestershire Council has previously found no evidence of any leaks, leading to speculation that the water, which appears to be clean, could be from a natural spring.

Mrs Hocking said: “It has been going on for years but has got worse as the winters get wetter.

“We’ve had meetings with water companies and South Gloucestershire Council, trying to get to the bottom of where it’s coming from and establish ownership. So far no-one has taken responsibility.”

Parish councillors are being asked to decide whether to hire a digger to excavate the leak, to try and find the source and solve the problem “once and for all”.