BY TOBY PORTER
Hundreds of residents on an estate where pipes were ruptured have got their water back – but they cannot drink it.
A large number of families living on the Loughborough Park Estate, in Brixton, were without a water supply for three weeks after a pressure surge damaged the plumbing. Contractors have now been able to repair the pipes so locals can now shower, bath, flush their toilets and wash their clothes at home.
Many have been living in hotels as far away as Westminster while the problem was sorted out.
But they will not be able to drink the water until it has been repeatedly tested by scientists to make sure it adheres to safety standards.
All residents of the estate have been told they will receive the equivalent of two weeks’ rent as compensation, which is likely to cost the estate’s owners The Guinness Trust tens of thousands of pounds.
But it is not immediately clear whether insurers or the building company which was working in the area at the time of the rupture will pay up.
A spokeswoman for The Guinness Partnership said: “We are happy to say water has now been restored to all blocks at Loughborough Park.
“We’d like to apologise again for the disruption our customers have experienced, and thank them for their patience and understanding as we have worked to restore the water supply. We will continue to supply bottled water for drinking until the water supply has been tested and we can confirm it is safe to drink.
“A disruption payment has been given to customers for the inconvenience and we are making arrangements for a further payment.
“Our estate staff remain available on site for any further assistance customers require.
“Our focus at the moment is on fully resolving the issues at Loughborough Park. As soon as we have done that we will complete a full technical review and put in place measures to mitigate against this happening again.”
One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “Guinness are disputing the number of days affected.
“Tenants had water restored on different dates, but the last set of residents who had water restored got it back on Tuesday, October 24. That is 18 days.
“The number of days can be disputed as much as Guinness would like, but the facts are there.
“The fact that residents have to make multiple trips to collect their compensation is confusing to many.
Why can we not have it paid back into our rent accounts?
“Guinness have no regard for their tenants even in the face of their own disruptive mistakes.
“Why does it take so long to receive updates? Each update has been given after 5pm.
“There seems to be no urgency. Is lack of running water not a human rights issue?”