Wednesday 3 August 2011

The leaking tap

We have a leaking tap, but I could not fix it as we could not find the stop cock!
Where we live we have an unadopted road leading to our property, all the residents own the road outside their own property and we all maintain a strip where the road meets the main (adopted) road.
We knew that the stopcock was on our land, but not where it was, so we called Severn Trent to locate the stopcock.
 I must confess I was rather surprised when they not only located the stopcock, using diving rods and a piece of electronic gadgetry, but advised that it was broken in the on position and that they would come along and fix it for FREE! Woo Hoo I thought.

So at the end of June we had a letter put through the door stating that the work was to commence on the 6th July. Well on the 6th nobody turned up, so I rang the number given on the letter to ask what was going on. The upshot was that there had been a scheduling problem and that someone would get back to me.
I'm still waiting on that call.
I did confirm that the address was right.
A couple of weeks later we had another letter shoved through the door stating that this time the work would commence on the 26th July, again I rang as this address was still wrong, and I was assured that the team would be working off the postcode and use satnavs.
You've guessed it, the 26th came and went with nary a sight nor sound of any Severn Trent employees.
This time the wife got on the case and boy did she have some things to say.
At this point, I should tell you that our road is a cul-du-sac, and the work would have stopped access to 3 houses, all of whom moved their cars out onto a side road whilst the work was supposed to be going on.
Well, this is when the saga began really, we were advised that a Traffic Management Act notification had to be given to our local council as the road needed to be closed, this btw is not the case, the road is unadopted by the local council and we own it not them. So, the wife asked for the number of the council employee and the email address of the writer of the letter (the operations director for STW) so she could fire off a couple of snotagrams, the STW call centre operator refused to give out this information ffs.When confronted with the wife saying that this was just an excuse, he refused to give his name. Wifey closed the call down with a "we'll be speaking to the MD of STW about this"
She was ,however advised that the work was now scheduled for the 2nd August.
On the 2nd August, some STW employees turned up and have done a throughly fantastic job, full marks to them, but would you believe that they do not re-instate the hole!!
No, that job is done by somebody else, fair play to them though they did turn up later and fill in the hole.
However, when the first guys turned up, another van carrying fences and signs also turned up and dropped them off.
Yes, you've guessed it, they had to be collected by a fence picker upper.

So, for a small water stopcock replacement project we've had four separate teams, the fencer dropper offer, the actual construction gang, and a hole filler inner team, we still have the fences and signs waiting to be picked up. so 4 teams altogether.
No wonder the bills are so high, but from a sustainability POV (After all I am a low carbon ICT consultant) this is utter madness.
3 separate vans, 5 men, 8 trips from a depot to our house 8!!
I cannot believe that this can be justified on a cost basis, and even less on a carbon management basis.
The system needs to be looked at, no really it does.
There is no reason why the main gang cant hold all this equipment on their van.
If this goes on with other utilities, and it probably does then we are wasting so much time and energy its simply not sustainable.

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