Fringe Box



Anger with Thames Water Remains Over Its Handling of Water Supply Interruptions

Published on: 8 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 8 Nov, 2023

By Martin Giles

Thames Water customers affected by the recent water supply problems in Guildford and Waverley remain angry at the company’s performance during the break in supplies.

A spokesperson for the company said last night: “Supplies have continued to return to customers throughout today, with the majority of customers now back in supply.”

It seems clear now that the water supply problems commenced on Thursday (November 2) not Saturday.

In our original report, we reported that one reader had noticed the toilets at an evening function in the County Club on Guildford High Street had to be closed and Mrs E Perry commented: “Stag Hill in Guildford have been having significant water supply problems since Thursday evening so this is the sixth day not the fourth.”

And the problem may not still not be fully resolved. Paul Follows, leader of Waverley Borough Council, said: “This morning I spoke to BBC Radio Surrey about the ongoing water outage in our area, and the frustration of residents and councillors.

“Issues remain, especially in Bramley and we are assisting residents where we can.

“I have many questions for Thames Water and I will get to that when full service is restored, particularly in regards to why such critical infrastructure seems to lack resilience in the face of a fairly minor storm in our part of Surrey.

“I think I know the answer to my question though, and I’ll use the words I finished with in the interview – ‘A little bit of light rain and a torrent of under-investment.’ ”

A Thames Water spokesperson told The Dragon last night: “We know there are a small number of properties who still have low pressure or no water due to airlocks (trapped air) in our pipes. We are working to resolve this as soon as we can and customers can find updates on our website.

“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience during this time and we’re very sorry to residents who are still experiencing issues with their water supply. Tankers remain in the area to pump water into the local supply network, and we continue to deliver bottled water to customers who are on our priority services register.”

Thames Water declined The Dragon’s request for an interview.

A Dragon reader who did not wish to be named (name and email address supplied) wrote in to say: “Our water in Dunsdon Avenue [Guildford Park] was off upstairs last night, and just a trickle on the ground floor.  A relative on nearby Scholars Walk had no water at all.

“Thames Water are suggesting things are fixed or nearly fixed. County School hadn’t decided if they could open today or not.  [It was later reported that it was able to open, with water supply restored.]

“Guildford Lib Dems were trying to find out who was affected last night on Twitter, and their feed shows a lot of replies citing various roads in Guildford Park.”

Another reader, Peter Mills, commented: “I’ll try and not make this a rant. Regardless of the cause, lack of communication, etc, I want to call out TW for lying. They know this did not start, as reported, on Sat.

“On Thursday evening, I reported that myself and my neighbours had no water. On Tuesday evening, their website stated the water was back on for all except a few named areas. GU2, where I live, was not one named.

“The website requested that you call if your water is not back on and you are outside of these areas. I did, got stuck in automated hell, and when I stated my postcode, it reported there was a problem.

“I do not believe this is incompetent comms, but blatantly downplaying the seriousness and extent of the problem, and I would love to see them taken to task for this.”

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Responses to Anger with Thames Water Remains Over Its Handling of Water Supply Interruptions

  1. jim allen Reply

    November 8, 2023 at 4:07 pm

    If people have no water due to suspected air locks simplest way to solve the problem is apply a vacumm to the main ‘drinking’ water tap in the property – A wet and dry vaccummn could solve the problem.

  2. Alex Cowley Reply

    November 8, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    Our water supply stopped on Thursday evening as well in Onslow Village. So as mentioned above, the issues certainly didn’t only begin on Saturday as mentioned by some at TW.

    And again, our supply has just dried up just now on Wednesday evening along with others in the area. Well into the sixth day of issues! TW really have to come out and answer some actual questions on this so it’s pretty sad that they declined The Dragon’s interview request.

  3. Bernard Quoroll Reply

    November 8, 2023 at 8:25 pm

    In GU1 the water went off last Thursday. It came back on today (Wednesday) but has now gone completely dry again this evening. TW seems to have been undertaking major works at the treatment plant for some time, so I suspect these problems are not unrelated.

    Full marks to their staff at the Artington Park and Ride who were very helpful but unable to explain what is really going on. No marks for those in charge whose explanations sound increasingly desperate.

    When you find yourself in a hole it is generally a good idea not to keep digging and come clean.

  4. Michael Barnett Reply

    November 9, 2023 at 8:31 pm

    Our water has gone off again this evening. What a joke!

    Do Thames Water even know about this as I am in GU7 not GU1 or GU2 as reported on their website?

  5. James Rook Reply

    November 9, 2023 at 10:24 pm

    After an overnight return of water pressure to my residence at GU1 late Wednesday night (November 8) the water disappeared again during the following day.

    This time it wasn’t problems at the Shalford works but a fault at the Ladymead works. A total shambles!

    I understand that the MP for Guildford is on their case and that there’ll be an inquiry into the incompetence of the water company.

    Let’s hope it does some good and some sanity and competence is restored to our water supplies.

  6. Jane Couch Reply

    November 15, 2023 at 11:40 pm

    It seems the fiasco never ends. Without water once again this evening in Agraria road, GU2.

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