CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Town Hall wants to question Thames Water over water main flood

Committee chairman wants 'forensic scrutiny' over what went wrong

20 June, 2019 — By Samantha Booth

THAMES Water will face serious questions from the Town Hall over why a mains pipe in Somers Town burst twice in 18 months.

Dozens were evacuated, including from a homeless hostel, on June 8 after a 16-inch pipe gave way on Eversholt Street and flooded nearby streets and homes.

The same thing happened further up the road in October 2017.

As reported on the New Journal front page last week, the water company admitted it can “never guarantee” that its pipes will not burst. Part of the road is expected to be closed for repairs to the pipe until July 2.

Camden’s environment chief, Cllr Adam Harrison, told the New Journal this week: “We need to ask some serious questions about what has happened here and the council will be speaking to Thames Water about how it will ensure this does not happen again.”

Cllr Awale Olad, chairman of the environment scrutiny committee, said: “We had Thames Water in for questioning in 2012 and I think it’s time to bring them back to answer questions on this burst pipe and why it’s happened again. It needs proper forensic scrutiny.”

Among those affected last week was the Somers Town Mosque, in Churchway, where refurbishments after the 2017 floods has recently been completed.

Mosque treasurer Mohammed Abdul Malique said: “We will wait and see if it happens again. It is a worry.”

After the 2017 flood, Thames Water paid out £769,000 for 35 claims. They said that an investigation then showed that the section where the burst happened needed cutting out and replacing.

A spokeswoman said last week that there was nothing to suggest any other immediate work was needed on the rest of the pipe, but it is on a list of pipes where monitors are to be installed with the aim of providing better visibility of its condition and changes in pressure, which can be an early indicator of bursts.

A spokesman for Thames Water said this week: “We are already in contact with a number of people at the council following the burst and are happy to respond to any further requests they have.”

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