Man ‘left without cold water’ for five years says he’s been ‘denied basic human right’

A man claims he has been without running cold water in his flat for five years.

Andrew Duff, 54, said the problems started as soon as he moved into his home, which he claims have been brushed “under the carpet” by his landlord.

He said he immediately complained about the lack of cold water as soon as he moved in, but he no longer pays the £100 a month for building services because the problem has still not been fixed.

Mr Duff said he stopped paying the fee after two years of living there, which has left him with a debt of £1,500.

Eventually, the problem was discovered to be caused by the hot and cold pipes being too close together in the building’s plumbing, Liverpool Echo reports.

In February, housing association LIVV Housing Group carried out work by installing a ‘chill blaster’ in an attempt to rectify the ongoing problem.

Mr Duff said he wanted to give the repairs a chance to work but at the start of lockdown, he said the company switched off the installed machine.

After another complaint, the chill blaster was switched back on in June but he said the problem with warm water coming out of his cold tap persists.

He said: “About a month ago I asked for somebody to come to test the temperature of my water.

“I was sitting on my couch reading the ECHO and he was standing there testing it for ages so I said, ‘everything all right mate?’

“He said, ‘no lad, your water’s contaminated'”.

Mr Duff claims he was told he could be at risk of Legionnaires disease, however LIVV Housing confirmed while there is a problem with the temperature of his water, he is not at risk.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, the temperature of water coming out of the cold tap should not exceed 20C.

Mr Duff claims that when his water was tested a month ago – every day for two weeks – the temperature was consistently above 20C and the highest recorded temperature came out as 27.7C.

He said: “They’re still doing nothing about it, they think it’s a joke.

“They’re denying me the basic human right of cold water. Plus I’ve got kidney disease and I need water.

“I don’t complain about a lot but this is wrong.”

Mr Duff claims it is also not just himself affected by the problem and said many other tenants in the building choose to buy bottled water rather than drink from the cold taps.

A spokesperson for LIVV Housing Group said: “We are aware of the issue at Crawford Gardens and have been working with our customers to find a solution, which has been hampered to a degree by the impact of coronavirus and we chose to keep our customers safe during the lockdown period by not allowing contractors to enter the building.

“Further work to rectify the situation is ongoing and we are confident that we will deliver a permanent solution in the coming weeks.

“We have been working closely with Mr Duff and have provided him with a regular supply of bottled water on a daily basis and we will continue to do so until a permanent solution is in place.

“We have tested the water numerous times and can confirm that there is no risk of Legionnaires with the water supply to Mr Duff’s property.”