AN ELDERLY woman has been left without water for 10 months because of what she claims are National Grid blunders.
Andrea Bolton, 68, from Corwen, has had no running water since January after National Grid started refurbishment works on a pylon near her home.
Miss Bolton has been forced to collect rain water from her roof to flush her toilet and to boil kettles to wash herself.
National Grid said they did not cause the problems with Miss Bolton’s water supply, but she has said then why have they spent about £2,000 on plumbers to try help.
Miss Bolton, a retired gardening consultant, said: “They cleaned their machines over the stream outside my home and blocked the water, so when they moved them all the water came gushing down, taking half my garden with it and it went into my well.
“Mud was coming through the taps and destroyed my pump. To wash I have to use baby wipes or pour water from the kettle into a bowl in the kitchen as I can’t carry it into the bathroom.
"I have Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which causes weakness, and I have dropped the kettle on myself before.
“I have to catch rain water in buckets to pour into the cistern to flush the toilet and to wash up.”
National Grid’s wayleave manager John Brick visited Miss Bolton and sent plumbers nearly a month later who left live wiring on her floor.
She said: “They sent plumbers but they didn’t do anything. On their third visit in April they caused chaos - there was mud and water all over the floor.
“On April 22 they left a live wire laying in water. I called Mr Brick and he said he could not come for a few days.
“I could have been electrocuted. I called an electrician myself and paid them. I’m terrified of electric.”
Meanwhile, National Grid was still working on the pylon outside her home and had knocked down part of her dry stone wall.
Miss Bolton, who had a bad fall earlier this year, has her arm in a sling and a neck brace on, said the stress is making her high cholesterol worse.
On July 9 National Grid plumbers reinstalled the pump, but the taps stopped working.
Miss Bolton said: “So they got a hack saw and hacked at my taps. Now the cold is turned off completely and the hot water has a strange new tap, but I don’t get any hot water from it and I can’t turn the new tap on because of my hands.”
On October 7 National Grid said it could no longer help. Miss Bolton has been asking for a deadlock letter confirming this to complain to the ombudsman but said they have refused.
A National Grid spokeswoman said they don’t accept their work on the pylon contaminated the stream or Miss Bolton’s well, but they have done their best to help.
The spokeswoman added: “The pylon stands around 80 metres from Miss Bolton’s cottage and there is a 20m depression in the ground between the pylon and her well. The stream referred to by Miss Bolton does not feed her well.
“As a gesture of goodwill, we arranged for a plumber to fix her water pump, even though her problems with it pre-dated our arrival on site in January this year. The first plumber was unable to fix the pump but a second plumber we engaged was able to get it working again.
“There have been a number of unsubstantiated allegations from Miss Bolton which we do not accept responsibility for.
“We have made it clear to Miss Bolton that we cannot help her further. We aren’t able to issue a deadlock letter to her as this is not applicable in her case as she is not a National Grid customer.”