HUNDREDS of gallons of water gushed down a road in Covingham after a leak sprung from an underground pipe.

Residents in Merlin Way phoned Thames Water at 8am after finding a flow of water was sailing past their homes, but had to wait several hours for repairs.

Andrew Wigley, who is a minister at Dorcan Church, noticed the leak when he opened his curtains but was left confused as to who was responsible.

“I phoned Thames Water and then I phoned the council because apparently because it is a roadside gulley it is the council’s responsibility,” he said.

“There is a drain there which is where all the rain is coming up from. The tarmac has come up, it looks like the water pushed it up. It hasn’t happened here before. There was a leak months ago at the far end but not here. It hasn’t affected the house.”

Thames Water engineers arrived at the scene at about 2pm and worked on the leak for several hours to repair it.

Debbie Fitchett, who has lived in Merlin Way for 30 years, said she had only ever seen a bit of a dribble coming from the drain before. We have had a dribble before but nothing like that. It started to really come up quite high this time,” she said.

A Swindon Council spokesman confirmed the leak was Thames Water’s responsibility.

A spokesman for Thames Water said: “There is a lot of prep work that goes on behind the scenes before we actually start to dig.

“One of the things that we have got to think about before we start to make repairs is contacting other utilities. It is not just water pipes underneath the roads, there are energy cables, telephone lines and gas mains. Before we start digging we have to make sure we aren’t going to make more of a problem.

“We also have to check out whether the water has to be turned off or if anyone has a special condition where they need water.

“We are really sorry for the disruption. The leak has been isolated and repairs have been made.”

The cause of the leak is not yet known.