A Rawdon family is counting the cost after a six-week water leak turned their garden into a quagmire.

Engineers from Yorkshire Water finally located the source of the leak at the weekend - but not before four gardens in Harrogate Road, First Avenue and Markham Croft were flooded.

Zoey Flesher, of Harrogate Road, said she and husband, Darren, first noticed the leak in January.

And now they fear that the water may have damaged the foundations of their house.

Investigations by Yorkshire Water failed to find where the problem was and in the meantime, their garden was turned into a muddy swamp - making it a no go area for four year old Joshua and two year old Kian.

Neighbouring gardens were also affected and in a desperate bid to keep the flowing water away from the house, the Fleshers dug a trench diverting the stream into a nearby beck.

Mrs Flesher, 32, said: "I can't let the children out into the garden unless they're wearing wellies and every time they come back in they're filthy and we have to wash them down. We've got all this play equipment and they've not been able to play on it because the garden is like a swamp."

Mr Flesher, 29, said they had dug a trench along the border of the garden to stop the water from seeping underneath the house.

"We're worried that it might have damaged the footings and are waiting for a surveyors report to find out," he said.

Councillor Graham Latty (Con, Guiseley and Rawdon) said he had been appalled by the state of the gardens.

"It was a really big problem, quite diabolical and particularly so for the two properties in Harrogate Road where the gardens are on a slope and they were effectively creating a dam wall."

Coun Latty said he sympathised greatly with the residents and had advised them on how to seek redress from the water company.

A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said the source of the leak had finally been identified and mended - despite problems with tracing it and a last minute delay caused by the owner of the house directly next to the leak moving home.

He said the leak had first been reported in early February when original tests by engineers had concluded there was no chlorine present - indicating that the water was not tap water.

He said: "It suggested it was land drainage which meant the residents themselves would be responsible for it."

However, complaints continued and Yorkshire Water returned to the area to take fresh tests. The results of these tests were inconclusive and were returned to the laboratory for a more detailed analysis which revealed there was chlorine present in the water.

The spokesman said a team then spent three days in the area looking for potential leaks and on Tuesday last week discovered the potential source.

"Unfortunately, it was outside a property where the owner was moving house and we had to wait until Saturday until we could do anything."

The spokesman apologised to all the residents affected by the problem but added that it had been far from straight forward.

"The problem was that the leaking water was getting into the land drain and then flowing out. The fact it was mixing with the land drain meant it was disguised.

"We apologise to our customers for the delay. We were working as quickly as possible to find the solution and hope that residents will in the future continue to inform us of leaks."