Thames Water ‘sorry’ after Woodford Green residents were left unable to flush toilets for five days

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 May 2019

Residents in Tree Tops in Woodford Green have been left with no hot water since Friday (May 17). Picture: Google

Residents in Tree Tops in Woodford Green have been left with no hot water since Friday (May 17). Picture: Google


Elderly residents living in a block of flats in Woodford Green were left without hot water for five days.

Residents in Tree Tops in Sydney Road had no access to hot water since Friday (May 17) and were left unable to flush their toilets or use their showers.

It is understood that Thames Water reduced water pressure in the building on May 13 due to concerns about pipes bursting in the area and residents believe this was cause of the problem.

Shirley Bernstein, 83, told the Recorder yesterday (Wednesday, May 22) that she had to boil two saucepans of water 10 times in order to fill her bath.

The building is made up of some 19 flats and the only water residents could use was cold water from their kitchen taps.

"It's like being in a third world country," she said. "We are carrying buckets of water backwards and forwards just to go to the toilet. We are capable, but some residents can't do that. Most residents are elderly and many have walking sticks."

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Mrs Bernstein said two separate plumbers were called to assess the situation. Both said the problem was to do with the water pressure.

Thames Water visited the building several times since Friday.

"We are not getting anywhere with fixing this," Mrs Berstein said. "I have been on the phone every day and I haven't left my house in days because I'm trying to get this sorted."

Residents asked for the water pressure to be increased to check if this is the cause of the problem, but Thames Water allegedly refused to do so.

Mrs Bernstein said: "We haven't had a problem with water pressure for the last 40 years in this building. So why now? This has to be to do with the water pressure but Thames Water won't admit it."

Today, Thames Water said the valve was fixed last night, which restored all water supplies in the building.

A spokesman for Thames Water said: "We're sorry for the unreliable water supply to the flats in recent days due to a faulty valve that controls how much water flows through the pipe supplying the block.

"We're now carrying out further investigations as we believe there is a leak on the private pipe work within the property boundary which may also have contributed to the issues."

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