A FARMING couple have said they are so fed up with a water main flooding their home that they have turned their front garden into a “lido”.

Christine and Tim Handy, of the Pry in Purton, awoke yesterday morning at 5am to find water gushing down the small country road outside the farmhouse they have lived in for 17 years.

It was the latest in a string of leaks over the last two months and, despite engineers from Thames Water coming out to fix the problems, each time it has only served to patch the three inch main for a matter of weeks.

Mrs Handy, 60, does not know how much damage might have been caused to her family home, a 19th century former pub, and says something needs to be done to fix it.

She said: “It’s trashed the front of the house – I’ve had enough of it.

“We are farmers so Tim wakes up at 5am, which was lucky because it could have spilled into the porch. Yesterday morning we had the sandbags out.

“I’ve put a dinghy in there and a sign up that says ‘open all summer’ – it’s like a lido.

“It started at the end of May and so far there have been seven leaks. The last three were in the last week so it’s reaching crisis point.

“We don’t know what damage it is doing to our property. They keep coming out and saying they’ve fixed it and five minutes later it’s leaking again.

“We’ve got concrete slabs going across the front and estimate it could be £2,000 to re-do it because there are so many holes. It’s a mess and I think Thames Water should foot the bill.”

Mrs Handy’s brother Peter Robinson, 53, said he was disappointed by Thames Water’s response and said the wasted water could be affecting local farmers.

He said: “Thames Water won’t react and we even had to call the police because the road is fast and cars and lorries come flying past.

“Farms around here are having a water shortage and this could be affecting their crop.

“We keep seeing all these campaigns to save water but they don’t seem to be taking their own advice.”

A spokeswoman for Thames Water apologised for the disruptions.

She said: “We are really sorry about the number of times this main has burst.

“This is an old pipe and unfortunately our repairs to date have not been enough to prevent future leaks.

“To help prevent flooding outside this property in the long-term, we are going to replace a 40-metre length of the pipe.

“This work will start tomorrow and will take approximately two weeks to complete."