AN ELDERLY couple say they are made sick with stress after being unable to use their back garden for almost a year because of a mysterious flood.

Daniel and Cynthia Samson have been unable to use the back garden of their Mil Hill home since last May when the leak, which they say is coming from a Barnet Homes property behind their house, began.

The lawn is now a bog and there is a constant stream of water pouring down their garden path and flooding the patio behind the house.

Black cab driver Mr Samson has criticised Barnet Homes for failing to stop the problem.

The Fernside Avenue resident said: “One day our grandson was here and had been playing in the garden, but when he came in he was covered in mud.

“We didn't know where it had come from, but when we went outside we saw this water pouring down the garden path. The grass was completely soaked and is unusable.

“We got in touch with Barnet Homes because it's coming from their property but they didn't do anything about it until July. For the whole summer we couldn't use or garden. The stress is making me ill.”

Mrs Sansom said she has to go into the garden every time it rains heavily to bail water collecting on the patio into a drain.

She added: “This is just causing us so much stress now. They've had people look at it but it's all so slow. I've got a swimming pool for a back garden and they don't seem to care.

“Every time I ring up to find out what's happening I get put onto someone different. They pass us from pillar to post but no-one can ever seem to tell us what's happening.”

A Barnet Homes spokesman said: “We sympathise with the Samsons and are happy to try to help them in any way we can.

“However, we have investigated this and firmly believe that the water is not coming from the Middledene Estate.

“We have carried out listening tests on water mains serving Middledene and can find no underground water main bursts.”

But a spokesman for Veolia Three Valleys water said their excavations with Thames Water had shown the water was coming from a broken clay pipe, which they said does not belong to either company.

She added the last information they had was work would be undertaken by Barnet Homes workmen to try and unearth the source of the water.