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Burst mains: the missing records

After December's Camden Passage flood, Tribune discovers Thames Water do not hold records on how long it takes them to close off bursts

21 April, 2017 — By Alex Green

Last year’s flooding in Angel caused an estimated £20million worth of damage

THAMES Water does not hold records of how long it takes to shut off burst water mains.

Information gained through an Environ­mental Information Regulation request revealed the firm does not have the figures.

In response to a request by the Tribune, the privatised utility company said: “We do not hold any data on the length of time each burst took to close off.”

Millions of gallons of water gushed from a burst main down Camden Passage, Islington’s antiques quarter, on December 5 last year. It flooded basements and caused an estimated £20million worth of damage.

More than 100 properties were seriously affected.

The flooding prompted concerns that Thames Water could have reduced damage by shutting off the mains earlier. Engineers took almost four hours to stop the flow of water into nearby properties and businesses.

Stuart Rock, of Devonia Road, Angel, whose house was flooded, said: “This is the type of data that all water companies should be able to provide, or at least have a clear plan for being able to provide.

“Speed of response, particularly for major and night-time incidents, is vital. It may be shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted but we should know how good they are at catching the horse.”

The request revealed Thames Water does not have access to data about bursts before 2009.


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