Whilst Thames Water continues to raise ‘No objection” to new housing in Cranleigh and the eastern villages – the taps run dry.. again as pipes burst!
As tempers rose yesterday a Cranleigh parish, Waverley borough and Surrey County Councillor was on the case. She is now crossing swords…again with Thames Water.
So let the battle begin?
Report your leak here: https://www.thameswater.co.uk/leak/
Due to burst water main on Amlets Lane about 390 properties are being impacted with low or no flow of water. Those residents who have medical needs have been provided with an alternative supply of water. Thames Water thinks the matter will be resolved by the end of the day.
After last weeks multiple leaks, I regret to inform you that yet again a large number of Cranleigh and Ewhurst residents are without water or have extremely low flow. Areas reported to me as affected are Bookhurst Road, Cranleigh Road, Summerlands Estate, Swallowhurst Estate, Gadbridge Lane, Somersbury Lane, parts of Walliswood, the list just goes on.I have been reporting leaks to Thames Water since 2016 and over the years I have sent reports, and have taken part in regular residents forums on this subject, which your predecessors attended. I have attended regular Thames Water meetings together with the Cranleigh Civic Society at your offices in Shalford and I have emailed you and other Thames Water staff umpteen times.I have highlighted to you again and again that almost 30% of Cranleigh’s drinking water pipes are asbestos cement and are between 50 and 70 years old. Evidence shows that these old pipes begin to degrade internally over time through water friction, and due to low pH and low soil alkalinity, there is also a risk of the release of free asbestos fibres into the drinking water, which I am aware you don’t routinely check for. Our pipes have been tested by you and were confirmed in 2017 to contain the most dangerous blue (crocidolite) form of asbestos as well as white (chrysotile). Furthermore, our clay soil places compressive and tensile stresses on the pipes as it is subject to ground heave and shrinkage during prolonged dry periods.We have also seen unprecedented development in this area with an additional 1,700 new dwellings in Cranleigh alone needing to be connected to your network, placing further stress on the pipes. This may not sound like a lot of new homes to you but in a village of approximately 4,500 houses, it is an increase of 38%. As the houses have been built we have witnessed an increase in bursts across the network.The fact is that our ageing network, made of materials that would no longer be used for the conveyance of drinking water in the UK, needs replacing. At one stage you confirmed that several kms would be replaced, then you clarified that this was actually across the entire Guildford network, then we were advised that pipes would only be replaced when they burst. This is simply not a good enough service for your customers and could actually be placing them at increased risk.You only have to take a look at your own issues map today to see that in these villages there are about 20 issues recorded and that doesn’t appear to include the ongoing issues that I keep reporting to you on Barhatch Lane and Amlets Lane, or the ongoing and frequent issue of water rushing down the road from Lambs Wood reservoir.As well as providing me with details and a timeline for the repairs being carried out today, I am requesting an online meeting without delay to discuss the issues affecting this area, why some issues never seem to get addressed and your plans to improve the water supply to your customers in Cranleigh and Ewhurst.I look forward to hearing from you.RegardsLiz TownsendSurrey County Councillor for Cranleigh & Ewhurst
Needed saying – but surely Thames Water whilst directly responsible for the mains and drainage etc aren’t accountable for the idiocy of building so many additional houses without upgrading the infrastructure? I actually feel sorry for TW having to tackle the repercussions……they likely blame planning policy and councillors approving these housing schemes.
Cllr Townsend responded to hundreds of reports of further leaks and messages of congratulations and updates throughout another quiet day in the life of a local councillor who was as good as the promise she made on the tin! You can read just a handful here…
Needed saying – but surely Thames Water whilst directly responsible for the mains and drainage etc aren’t accountable for the idiocy of building so many additional houses without upgrading the infrastructure? I actually feel sorry for TW having to tackle…Well said Liz, why should we pay the high fees they charge when our water is possibly dangerous and then we don’t have any for prolonged periods.
Great email Liz, as much as it needed to be sent I seriously doubt Thames water will rise to the challenge, they have to be the slowest of all the utility companies where work is concerned, the debacle east of Ewhurst a few years back went on and on fo…