Lewisham Councillors called in Thames Water to a meeting on Monday night about the growing number of serious water incidents across the borough; but they had to move it urgently – due to a serious water incident at the Town Hall.
The meeting was to discuss the increasing number of serious water mains bursts and incidents with Thames Water bosses to try to sort the problem out but had to move the meeting across the road because the Town Hall was closed down and staff evacuated due to loss of water pressure.
Between August and December last year there were 10 serious incidents. This included a coach falling into a ‘sink’ hole in November in Lee High Road caused by a burst water main and it was lucky there were no serious injuries or fatalities. The Forest Hill ‘sink hole’ diverted trains and is still causing delays in Perry Vale today.
And although there were officially 1900 notices last year to remedy water leaks, officers calculate that there might be another 1,000 that are abandoned. This could be as much as between 60 and 80 a week in Lewisham alone.
Cllr Alan Hall, Chair of Overview and Scrutiny at Lewisham Council, said 'there were a lot of jokes about the incident between the councillors and Thames Water at the time but underneath it all is a very serious problem.'
“These incidents can have a serious effect on people and business. Two to three thousand incidents a year are just too many.
“We want to see what solutions there are to have a quicker and more efficient response and to try to prevent them in the first place.”