Swathe of east London left without water after major supply outage

7 October 2020, 09:06 | Updated: 7 October 2020, 09:21

Bottled water was being distributed in the area (file image)
Bottled water was being distributed in the area (file image). Picture: PA

By Asher McShane

Thousands of people in nine London postcodes have been left with no water supply after a major pipe burst.

There were scenes of supermarket shelves being emptied of bottled water in parts of east London after the outage.

One resident posted images of supermarket shelves emptied of water in Leytonstone.

"To give this some context there is currently no running water in most of east London and some Reading postcodes. obviously this was unexpected and has come at a bad time (during a pandemic) but I’m sure @thameswater is doing all they can!," she wrote.

The burst pipe in Hackney Marshes left homes across nine east London postcodes without water and flooded an area of woodland, Thames Water said.

Thames Water said it had drafted in "as many resources as we can to tackle this repair and get things back to normal".

Supply was beginning to return this morning.

"We're planning the repair of this 42-inch-diameter pipe, while continuing to pump water into our network using a fleet of tankers," it added.

Thames Water were trying to clear "the huge amount of water that's flooded a heavily wooded area".

"We're really sorry if this has affected your water, particularly at this difficult time," the utility said.

"We absolutely realise how inconvenient and worrying this is and will be doing all we can to restore supplies as quickly as possible."

Local supply of water was expected to be affected over the next 24 hours, with Thames Water planning to open sites later on Wednesday morning where bottled water will be distributed.

Due to a high volume of calls, Thames Water said it was "prioritising assistance for vulnerable customers and hospitals".

Affected postcodes include E6, E7, E10, E11, E12, E13, E15, E16 and E20.