Letter: Yorkshire Water needs a new approach

Residents collect bottles of water during this week's water outage in the Pocklington area.
Residents collect bottles of water during this week's water outage in the Pocklington area.

I really do despair regarding the lack of communications from Yorkshire Water.

This week’s issues in the Pocklington area were clearly a major incident and I would like to think that they have planned for such incidents in the past, but their communications strategy leaves a great deal to be desired.

Our water went off without warning at 3pm on Monday 23 November. I eventually got through to Yorkshire Water who told me about the serious water main bursts affecting the reservoir at Pocklington.

During that evening I tried numerous times to get through to get an update without success. Bearing in mind one has to ring an 0345 number and not a Freephone number, it costs money every time one is kept hanging on for 15 minutes or so.

I eventually got to speak to someone at 9.30pm but still no idea of when the water would be back on. Apparently some bottled water had been delivered to Pocklington, but what about the outlying villages? It’s a 10 mile round trip of me to get to Pocklington.By 3am I was thirsty so I got up and squeezed what was left of the water out of the kettle and rang again. No problem getting through at this time. I tried to get the message across that we needed a water tanker here. My neighbour has scores of cattle and hundreds of pigs all kept indoors and they are desperate for water.

I got a call back at around 6.45am on Tuesday. Yorkshire Water said they were thinking about establishing water tankers but it is now 12.20pm on the same day and no sign of anything. We have been left completely in the lurch.

In the meantime, my farming neighbour had managed to speak to the company and the girl asked her if some bottled water would be suitable for the pigs. The girl’s lack of common sense is mind blowing! Pigs need gallons of water!

Quite honestly I don’t think Yorkshire Water understands how important good communications are. I’m sure that their staff are working extremely hard to fix the leaks, but that is only part of the company’s responsibility.

In the meantime, there is a serious welfare issue developing regarding the livestock and we are no further forward. I have tried ringing again and been holding on for 15 minutes but have given up.

Pat Black

Gowthorpe