'Overflowing' Stone pond floods gardens at back of homes
FIRE crews have been called out four times in the past fortnight to pump water from an overflowing pond.
Residents in Stone have been forced to take action after repeatedly seeing their back gardens turned into a lake.
They believe the problem is connected to a blocked pipe used to drain water from the pond, which measures quarter of an acre.
Firefighters spent more than 12 hours pumping water from the pond in the latest incident on Sunday.
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Pensioner Fred Saunders, of Stewart Close North, Stone, says his garden has been covered by up to six inches of water since heavy rain hit the region in the run-up to Christmas.
He has even dug a five foot hole on his lawn in an attempt to locate the blockage.
The 75-year-old said: "I was absolutely terrified when I saw the water coming in.
"My next door neighbour's garden was so flooded, water was coming up to the bottom of her back door. She even had to put sandbags there. My garden is just a mess at the moment. We're all pensioners and we just don't need this hassle."
Fred, who has lived in the property with wife Norma for 52 years, says this is the first time his garden has flooded.
He added: "In all the time we've lived here, we've never had problems. I've tried to locate the blockage myself by digging a hole but I can't dig up the whole garden at my age."
Residents have contacted Stafford Borough Council, the Highways Agency, Severn Trent and the Environment Agency to try to get to the bottom of the problem.
Norma, aged 73, said: "The fire crews have been absolutely marvellous and they were even here on Boxing Day pumping water out but they said they can't keep coming out.
"Everyone seems to think it's not their responsibility but someone has to do something."
Michael Foster, who owns the pond in Stuart Close, agrees that a blockage is probably responsible.
The 59-year-old said: "I've lived here for nine years and most of the time, there's no problem but I think there is a blockage in the pipes which is causing the water level to rise.
"Some of the residents think it's my responsibility because it's my pond but the blockage is not in my land."
William Conaghan, a spokesman for Stafford Borough Council which is investigating the problem, said: "We have given the owner of the pond and the neighbours advice on who to contact but we will also be liaising with other agencies to identify the cause of the problem – for example a blocked drain, natural flooding or road drainage – so a solution can be found."
A Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: "Firefighters used the high volume pumping appliance to drain away the water which prevented it from entering the properties."