Safety fears over ‘death trap’ water filled hole left in granddad's garden for year and a half

A woman has blasted a council’s failure to fix a ‘death trap’ water-filled hole which left her granddad unable to go into his garden for more than a year and a half.

The 2ft wide hole has been left in garden since March 2020
The 2ft wide hole has been left in garden since March 2020

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Kate Krawczyk said she’s tried since last March to help her granddad get the 2ft wide hole in his back garden fixed.

But she claims the council and Scottish Water have refused to take responsibility, leaving 80-year-old Ronald Arpino scared to use his back garden.

Now, after ‘banging her head against a brick wall’ for seventeen months, Ms Krawczyk is worried for his safety during the winter months ahead.

The 37-year-old said Scottish Water fitted a new supply pipe for Mr Arpino in March last year after a kitchen leak and advised they would leave the hole unfilled for the council to access it and carry out final works.

While the job has stopped the leak, Mr Arpino is left with the 2ft hole at his door. But Ms Krawczyk claims that, after the council sent a plumber in October, it advised it wasn’t in its remit and said ‘Scottish Water dug the hole it’s their problem.’

Dental nurse Ms Krawczyk said: “During lockdowns granddad couldn’t even get into his garden. He’s given up on getting this sorted and he is a determined person.

“This has broke him. I’m shocked to see him give up. It’s so sad. He looks after his mum who is 105, so he's got enough on his plate without having this ongoing nightmare.

"Nobody is taking responsibility. They’ve left this massive hole and it’s a death trap. I’m worried about him now, especially with the winter months coming in. There’s no handrail out back so if he went out there and slipped he’d fall right in.”

She said that the family had been ‘back and forth’ with both the council and Scottish Water on the issue.

“They treat us as if we are the problem,” she said. “Scottish Water have been more friendly in their communication and they told us that leaving the repair unfinished is allowing a large volume of water gathering in the foundation of the property. So it’s not like it’s a small problem.

"But the council have been so dismissive. Their last response was basically, we refer you to our previous message. I think it’s clear that after so long, it’s not treated as an

emergency. It is for my granddad. It’s not even clear what still needs done.

"I’ve pleaded with them and feel I’m banging my head against a brick wall. I think we’ve no choice now but to raise it as an official complaint.”

A Scottish Water spokesman said: “Scottish Water visited the customer to investigate the issue and provide advice. We believe the problem is on the private side of the property. We have engaged with the local authority and will provide support where required.”

Speaking yesterday, a council spokesman said: “Scottish Water installed a new pipe but there has unfortunately been a breakdown in communication after this was completed and the council picked up the next phase of the works. We have been in touch with our tenant today and we are now progressing the works to resolve the situation.”

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