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Thames Water take week to fix leaking pipe half a mile from Upper Street

PUBLISHED: 07:00 26 January 2017

A pipewas leaking for six days in Stoke Newington last month before bursting and causing chaos. Picture: Polly Hancock

A pipewas leaking for six days in Stoke Newington last month before bursting and causing chaos. Picture: Polly Hancock

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Thames Water took a week to fix an ominous leaking pipe half a mile from the one that burst in Upper Street and destroyed homes and businesses.

Water was first seen covering the road on Monday last week and was reported to the water company numerous times – but they didn’t think it was a priority.

Homeowner John Cassels said it was causing damp in basement flats and he even had to help up a moped driver to his feet after he skidded over the frozen water and crashed on Monday morning.

“It poses a serious danger to public health and safety,” he told the Gazette. “If this is not fixed, it is likely only a matter of time before there is a more serious accident. It is starting to cause flood damage to surrounding properties. After the disaster of the Upper Street leak, I would have thought fixing leaks before they develop into very significant incidents would be a priority.”

Days after the Upper Street flooding last month, Thames Water failed to fix a leak in Stoke Newington that ended in another burst pipe that ruined a stretch of businesses. Thames Water admitted it “got that one wrong” but defended its tactics.

The company said St Paul Street had been gritted every night since the leak was reported to reduce the risk of it freezing over. Careful planning was also done to fix it with minimal disruption – but as it wasn’t affecting water supplies it wasn’t a priority. A spokeswoman said: “We have hundreds of leaks reported to us each week, especially during cold weather, so we have to prioritise repairs and deal with those affecting water supplies or causing flooding first. The leak on St Paul Street was investigated on Tuesday [last week] and we’ve been planning how best to fix it with minimal disruption.”

The leak was eventually fixed on Tuesday.


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