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Angry families without water 2 weeks after mains pressure drops

PUBLISHED: 21:57 05 June 2008 | UPDATED: 13:21 05 October 2010

Tenants protest over taps running dry in  their homes for two weeks

Tenants protest over taps running dry in their homes for two weeks

FURIOUS families are in uproar on an East London housing estate because they’ve been left without mains water for more than a fortnight. They are having to fill up buckets from a standpipe outside in the courtyard and lug them up flights of stairs so they can drink, shower, wash dishes and even flush their toilets

By Gemma Collins

FURIOUS families are in uproar on an East London housing estate because they've been left without mains water for more than a fortnight.

They are having to fill up buckets from a standpipe outside in the courtyard and lug them up flights of stairs so they can drink, shower, wash dishes and even flush their toilets.

Around 60 families, many with small children, living in two blocks of flats in Bethnal Green's Guinness Trust Buildings in Columbia-road have had no mains water since the middle of May.

Guinness Trust blames it on Thames Water reducing the mains pressure two weeks ago to reduce leaks.

That's when the trust installed two temporary pumps to help some families. It was hoping to have the mains working again by the end of the week.

But Thames Water told the Advertiser it had not altered the mains pressure, but had been called out by Guinness Trust to investigate and found problems with the plumbing in the building.

Mum-of-two Karen Boxall, 31, who had a baby just four weeks ago, said: "I have just had a Caesarean and need to have a bath.

"I have to use the tap to wash the baby's bottles, so I have to keep on coming back and forth with buckets."

She added: "Sometimes the water from the standpipe is a different colour, so you don't know what's in it.

"At night I can't see it properly, so I just have to take the chance."

The tenants have been offered use of one shower and one leaking washing machine between them.

Ellie Cole, 34, said: "I have a bad back and I am lugging buckets of water up to my flat on the fifth floor.

"We've had to spend money on the launderette and are eating out because we can't wash up. My little girl is going to a friend's house to wash.

"Nobody has come around to telling us what is going on and to see how we are coping."

Guinness Trust insisted the cause of the water shortage was out of their hands.

Housing trust officials have written to tenants and say there is a compensation allowance, which depends on the 'level of inconvenience' they've suffered.

They have promised to looked into it.

The mains were partially restored for some families yesterday (Wednesday), but the problem remains for others.

gemma.collins@archant.co.uk


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