A FAMILY living in rural Caithness are struggling for one of the basic necessities of life - water.
An ongoing issue with underground pipes breaking has been the cause of great misery for the Darmady family for over 15 years.
Peter Darmady lives with his wife and daughter in his house, Breckster, a couple of miles up the Camster road.
The Darmadys both work as teachers at Wick High School and moved to the house in 2001. There have been frequently recurring issues with the water supply for the family and other households in the Camster area. Though the supplier, Scottish Water, have made countless attempts to resolve the issue the pipes just keep breaking and numerous households lose their water supply.
Mr Darmady said: "Basically, the pipe from Occumster is very old and keeps breaking. Therefore, we often lose water.
"We wake up and go to the kitchen tap; there is a splutter and then no water. I then go to the phone, speed-dial Scottish Water and give my postcode - to be told, they are working on it."
The engineers who come out to fix the pipe have to find the break in a nearby field using a sounding device and then repair it. The family has even been forced to use water running off the hill by their house for basic necessities.
Mr Darmady says that a new water pipe is needed and the repairs are pointless. He believes that Roster and Camster will continue to have water shortages until it is replaced.
He written to the CEO of Scottish Water to make a serious complaint.
A spokesman for Scottish Water said: "We would like to apologise to customers in Camster who have been affected by three (now four) interruptions to their water supply in the last few weeks.
"On each occasion, our local 24 hour response team attended to locate the burst and carry out repairs as quickly as possible. In two cases, our engineers were able to restore service within a few hours and in one case, where it proved harder to locate the problem, bottled water was supplied to affected customers.