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Aug 8, 2022
Londoners Cut Off From Water Supply as Burst Pipe Floods Streets
(Bloomberg) -- Families and businesses in north London lost their supply of running water after a large pipe burst on Monday morning, flooding streets and holding up traffic.
Six postcodes in the boroughs of Islington and Hackney had no or very low water supply, Thames Water Utilities Ltd. said on its webpage.
The burst pipe was near to Emirates Stadium, the home of Premier League football team Arsenal. The club’s offices were without water following the leak, a spokesperson said at 10.30 a.m.
Thames Water later said it had stopped the leak at 11.05 a.m. and that flood levels were receding.
Temperatures in the UK are expected to soar again this week, with millions of households banned from watering their gardens because of a lack of rain.
Read More: London Is Teetering Toward Water Rationing If Drought Persists
The UK’s major utilities are already facing criticism for the amount of water that leaks out of pipes. About 2.4 billion liters are lost through leaks every day, the London-based Times newspaper reported last month, enough to meet the needs of nearly 16 million Brits, roughly a quarter of the population.
Outside the capital, Southern Water has enforced the first hosepipe ban in southeast England in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight. This means if residents want to irrigate their garden, they’ll need to use conservative methods such as watering cans or potentially face a fine of up to £1,000. South East Water Ltd. will impose a similar ban on customers in Kent and Sussex from Aug. 12.
Like a tsunami
Monday’s burst pipe is in the constituency of Jeremy Corbyn. The former Labour leader pledged to nationalize water companies in the run up to the 2019 election, which he lost to Boris Johnson’s Conservatives.
“Yet another burst water main in my constituency, on top of the very many we’ve had over the past few years,” Corbyn said in an emailed statement. “If anything highlights the real need of public ownership of our water system it is this.”
A staff member at The Tollington pub, which is located close to the burst pipe, added: “It happened about 7am and within minutes there was flooding like a tsunami!”
The weather has already sparked fires near London, triggered warnings that railway lines could buckle, and forced power stations to operate at low levels to prevent overheating.
Temperatures in southern England are predicted to rise as high as the mid-30 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit) this week, according to the UK’s Met Office, having exceeded 40 degrees Celsius for the first time in the UK last month.
“Our engineers were quickly on the scene and have stopped the flow of water, which is now draining away,” spokesperson for Thames Water said when contacted by Bloomberg News via email. “We’re doing all we can to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”
(Adds details of leak being plugged, and quotation from Jeremy Corbyn)
©2022 Bloomberg L.P.
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