DON’T play in the floodwater – that’s the message on leaflets being delivered to 3,000 homes around Buckskin this evening.

The leaflets spell out the dangers of coming into contact with the water, which is contaminated with sewerage.

A total of 23 homes have been evacuated in the Grampian Way area of Buckskin, after groundwater following months of rain seeped into people’s homes.

Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, which is helping to pump away the water, has warned people not to let children and pets play in the water.

The leaflets warn groundwater can push up manhole covers leaving a risk of open drains.

Tony Curtis, chief executive of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, said: “Unfortunately one of our council team fell down an open manhole cover as he had to go through flood water as part of our continuing support for residents in Buckskin. Fortunately he only sustained bruising.

“Health and safety of the public and our staff is of the utmost importance and as a result we have reiussed safety messages to staff and residents.”

People who cannot avoid contact with the water are urged to wash their hands frequently and seek medical advice if they feel unwell with diarrhoea, fever or abdominal pain.

The leaflet also urges people who live in the rest of Buckskin and the surrounding areas to reduce the amount of water that goes down their drain by not flushing toilets or using washing machines and dishwashers during peak times.

Residents are also urged to take showers instead of a bath.