Furious residents in London and Kent have hit out at their water companies after their roads were turned into rivers when a burst main caused 4ft of flooding and two sinkholes to form.
Streets in Dartford, Kent, and close to Arsenal FC’s stadium in Islington, north London, were flooded with water cascading through the streets and homes and businesses left without supply after burst mains caused chaos.
Cars were submerged, residents were urged to move to higher ground and businesses were facing enforced closures as more than 70 firefighters battled to reign in the rapidly rising water levels, which reached 4ft.
One local said their business was hit with a ‘tsunami’ of water at around 7am – and the situation was worsening at midday. London Fire Brigade later warned the deep flooding had caused ‘two sinkholes’ in the local area. Another furious resident tweeted: ‘This is bonkers. Do any residents have water? Hornsey Road, under water. What a thing.’
Yet over the weekend, Thames Water, the UK’s largest water company whose boss Sarah Bentley earns £2million-a-year plus a recent £727,000 bonus, asked customers in London to conserve water by using a can instead of a hose in the garden and by taking shorter showers.
It comes as Thames Water was today accused of hypocrisy after demanding its 15million customers cut water use amid a looming hosepipe ban when there were two gigantic leaks on their watch overnight where potentially millions of gallons of water were wasted.
South East Water has announced a ban from this Friday, affecting 2.2million customers in Kent and Sussex. On Friday, Southern Water became the first company to impose a hosepipe ban for customers in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight.
And 19million more people in other parts of England could soon be hit by further bans after Thames Water and South West Water both warned they might soon have to bring in restrictions – which would affect 15million customers in London and the Thames Valley, and around two million in Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.
Yorkshire Water, which serves 2.3million people, are also threatening a ban. In some areas neighbours are being urged to snitch on those flouting any curbs on water use – punishable by a £1,000 fine.