A MYSTERY leak is causing a nightmare for residents on a Hampshire housing estate

 Gardens at the homes in North Baddesley resemble a swamp and residents don't know where all the water is coming from.

And 61-year-old Martyn Ings even has water beneath the floorboards at his home at Whitebeam Way.

Martyn said: “A couple of months ago I had to pump water out from beneath the floorboards and there is still water there now. I lived here for 30 years and it wasn't until about five years ago that I started getting problems, first with water in the garden and now under the floorboards.

“My front garden is like a moat and others gardens are in a similar situation. And I wouldn't be surprised to hear that all the homes here at Whitebeam Way have water beneath them because it has been running down the road for some time.”

However, despite contacting the Environment Agency, Southern Water and officials at Hampshire and Test Valley councils, Mr Ings and his neighbours at Whitebeam Way are no further forward.

Ex-truck driver, Mr Ings concluded: “We are at our wits end. Everybody you speak to passes the buck and we are getting fed up with it.”

North Baddesley's county councillor Alan Dowden is now involved in trying to get the water mystery solved.

“I can't believe that Mr Ings garden is so wet and that there is deep water under the floorboards on his home. Other homes must be like it too. It needs everyone to get their heads together to sort this out because at the moment it would appear everyone is passing the buck,” said Mr Dowden, who was called out to look into another problem at Whitebeam Way when he was approached by Mr Ings.

Mr Dowden said that North Baddesley was built on “wetland” and there has been flooding problems before. This included people's gardens at Middle Road and new drain systems had to be built to resolve the problems.

Mr Dowden added that before any more homes are built in the village, experts had to tackle the water problems first.

Environment Agency staff carried out investigations at Whitebeam Way in a bid to try and trace where the water is coming from.

A spokesman said: “In response to concerns raised by the local residents we have visited the property to see if we can help. We take the lead if flooding comes from a main river, however, this does not seem to be the cause of the flooding here.”

He added: “As the flooding has been on-going since August last year, it is likely to be due to high groundwater levels or possibly a leaking pipe.”

Hampshire County Council staff cleaned out highway drains last week.

County council cabinet spokesman for the environment and transport Mel Kendal, said: "We sympathise with Mr Ings and his neighbours in Whitebeam Way and can understand this is a very worrying, not to mention potentially costly, situation.

"In our capacity as the highways authority we have checked the highways drainage and made sure it is clear and have been able to ascertain that this is not connected to the cause of the flooding.

"Groundwater levels are exceptionally high due to all the rain that we have had over the past year and highways engineers concluded that it is most likely to be this water that is coming up into homes and gardens."

Borough council officials say the authority's building control team are investigating complaints about water level in the area.

“Building control officers are still investigating the water source and have been liaising with Southern Water and Hampshire Highways. They have also held meetings with local Councillor Alan Dowden,” said a spokesman.

Southern Water claims the problem could be down to high water tables.

A spokesman said: “Groundwater levels in the South East are at an all-time high following the wettest year on record in England.

"In some places, these high levels mean groundwater has found its way into the sewer system and caused it to overload, which may be the cause of this problem.

“We understand customers' concerns and frustrations and would ask them to contact our technical call centre on 0845 2780845 with details so we can send an inspector out to investigate the cause.”