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Thames Water to assess East London pipes after flood


Thames Water has launched a full investigation into what caused a pipe to rupture leading to deep localised flooding and evacuation of residents in East London.  

The water company is set to carry out a full assessment of its infrastructure in Hackney, after a Victorian water main burst on Wednesday. 

A spokesperson for Thames Water said that engineers battled to stem the flow of water until the early hours of the morning. 

“We have managed to reroute our network to keep all customers supplied and keep pressure levels normal,” the spokesperson said.  

“Our next step will be to dig down to the damaged section of pipe so we can assess what repairs are needed and continue to offer support to affected customers for as long as they need it.” 

The spokesperson added: “We’re really sorry for the disruption caused by our burst pipe affecting the area around Lea Bridge Road. We had a large team there from the early hours of Wednesday morning working to stop the flow of water from the pipe, reduce flooding and support those customers affected.”

A Victorian cast iron water main on Lea Bridge Road ruptured on Tuesday with what was reported to have been a loud bang at around 10pm, leaving a crater that quickly filled with water. 

The flooding progressed quickly, and some residents had to be pull out of windows into rescue dinghies by the firefighters.  

The flood has now been contained by Thames Water.  

A Thames Water spokesperson confirmed that the water supply had been successfully diverted without creation additional risk of a new burst.  

At the start of September Thames Water pledged to invest £11.7bn in upgrades, including £2.1bn to “boost resilience and reduce leakage”. 

Part of that pledge was a £203M contract of work to detect faults within its pipes. 

It comes after water watchdog Ofwat said that water companies should  “up their game” in cutting leaks – leaks lead to 3bn  litres of water loss in the UK everyday  

“There is a huge mains replacement programme ongoing” the Thames Water spokesperson said. “There will be an investigation into the burst as there is with all mains bursts.” 

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