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Water Leaks Have Been Continuing for Years Complain Shalford Residents

Published on: 14 Mar, 2022
Updated on: 16 Mar, 2022

One of the two water leaks starts at the highest point of East Shalford lane and runs down westwards towards the village.

By Cecilia Taylor

Shalford resident Mike Jordan has taken to social media to vent his frustration about long-term water leaks flowing down East Shalford Lane.

Having lived on the lane for four years he has experienced “countless” instances of low or no water pressure, interruptions in service and the continuous stream of water on the lane.

He said: “As well as freezing over in the winter, turning the lane into an ice rink, where the water has been allowed to flow freely for many months, the road is badly damaged and eroding.”

There are two highly visible leaks flowing down the lane, one starts at Shepherds Way, onto the lane and snakes down past the entrance to Tilehouse Road. The other leak is at the very top of the lane situated between two fields.

A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “I understand repairs are continuing today (March 14) on East Shalford Lane. When I have details confirmed I will share an update.”

The second leak which emanates from the junction with Shepherds Way

Dr Mike Jordan said that the leak still persists and there has been “no sign of anyone in attendance from Thames Water”.

Another resident Nigel Campion-Smith said: “The leak at the top of East Shalford Lane has been persistent for about three years, they’ve repaired the road surface a couple of times but there’s still water seeping from it, even in dry weather.

“The last Thames Water guy inspecting it said he couldn’t prove it was mains water with his chemical test, so wouldn’t be allowed to do more work until that was established.”

Thames Water claims on its utility bills it is “committed to reducing leaks,” but utility bills sent in April 2021 and October 2021 gave discounted rates because the company had failed to meet leak reductions target.

Dr Jordan asked: “When will Thames Water get round to fixing the leak that has caused thousands of litres of water to cascade down East Shalford Lane for months? Thames Water loses 25 per cent of its water to leaks (their figures) and we’re paying for it. This leak has been reported many times but is still not showing up as a live incident on their website.”

Another resident believed: “Thames prioritises fixing leaks, by the interruption in supplies. As long as there is still water coming out of your taps, then other leaks will probably get higher priority.” Thames Water confirmed this as true, leaks are categorised and prioritised as described.

A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We know it’s not acceptable to be losing so much precious water and we’re doing something about it. It’s not going to be quick, but we’re making progress and we’ve met our target for the last two years.

“Last year, we reduced the amount of water lost by 5.4 per cent. Our aim is to reduce our leakage by 20.4 per cent between 2020 and 2025.”

Previous Penalties

In 2018 Thames Water and other water leakages were investigated by the water regulator OfWat. Thames Water was

found to be substandard and incurred automatic penalties, they were ordered to return money to customers.

OfWat Chief Executive, Rachel Fletcher said at the time: “Thames Water failed its customers in tackling leakage. High leakage creates unnecessary strain on the environment, excess costs for customers and an increased risk of water shortages.

“A well-run water company will have a good understanding of the condition of its pipes and will be able to reduce leakage over time.”

“Ofwat has set all water companies a target of bringing down leakage by at least another 15 per cent up to 2025 and expects further reductions beyond this date. Thames Water has assured us that they now have a grip on the leakage situation.”

To report a leak go to:

Information on leak performance can be found at:

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Responses to Water Leaks Have Been Continuing for Years Complain Shalford Residents

  1. Keith Francis Reply

    March 14, 2022 at 11:02 pm

    Many water pipes are the original cast iron. Neighbouring SES Water has, after surveying its network, has in place a very effective pipe replacement plan, but not Thames Water. Or is it the old Affinity Water that is the water supplier? May I suggest that you check the name on your water bills as this other company could be responsible?

    Editor’s comment: Our direct communication with Thames Water indicates that they accept responsibility for this part of the water supply network.

  2. Jim Allen Reply

    March 15, 2022 at 12:25 am

    This could be a natural spring tracking the water pipes. We have a similar problem in Merrow Lane but the problem has remained unresolved for over 15 years.

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