Residents in Haringey spend half a year disrupted by burst water mains

Liberal Democrat opposition leader Cllr Gail Engert by a burst water main

Liberal Democrat opposition leader Cllr Gail Engert by a burst water main - Credit: Archant

People in Muswell Hill and Highgate spent 166 days last year – nearly six months - dealing with burst water mains.

Cllr Liz Morris, Highgate ward representative, has called for urgent action from Haringey Council and Thames Water after her freedom of interest (FOI)request showed 31 burst water mains in the west of the borough in just one year.

The Liberal Democrat councillor discovered Highgate alone had 14 burst water mains between October 2015 and October 2016 with on average six days of disruption each time.

Muswell Hill ward suffered 13 burst mains, Crouch End and Alexandra wards had two burst mains totalling 166 days of disruption across all areas.

There have been more burst mains since October, the latest reported in Southwood Lane on January 6,

Liberal Democrat councillors are urging Thames Water and Haringey’s Labour-run council to take urgent action to fix the problem, particularly while the weather is so cold.

Cllr Morris said: “Residents in Highgate and Muswell Hill have suffered repeatedly due to burst water mains with many people’s homes at risk of damage, disrupted journeys to and from work or no running water for days. It has been particularly bad in Highgate, where we have experienced simultaneous burst water mains and local people have struggled to get out of Highgate village.

Most Read

“It is completely unacceptable that there have been so many burst pipes. Thames Water and Labour-run Haringey Council must take urgent action to fix the problem. We really need the Labour-run council to put pressure on Thames Water so they maintain their water main infrastructure. The Lib Dems will push them to improve the local water mains so this stops happening.”

Muswell Hill councillor Gail Engert, added: “Despite Thames Water digging up Muswell Hill for repairs, we are still getting a worrying number of leaks, which are turning to black ice in this cold weather. I have written to the Labour-run council to get these leaks fixed and the affected streets gritted urgently.”

A spokeswoman for Haringey Council said: “Water mains are owned and maintained by Thames Water and some pipes are more than 100 years old.

“We identify and raise concerns over certain areas with high volumes of burst mains but Thames Water is responsible for their upkeep and renewal.

“Haringey assists by ensuring that all repairs by Thames Water’s contractors are to the correct specification and we will continue to do this.”

A spokeswoman from Thames Water said: “A team of independent experts are investigating our burst water mains to recommend how we can improve our pipe monitoring techniques and response times.

“Getting access to these pipes, many over 100 years old and running under incredibly busy roads, adds to the problem, but we’re exploring all options as a top priority.

“In the last 18 months we’ve replaced a number of water pipes in Haringey, including during a £4m project in Muswell Hill, and plans to replace more pipes are being finalised.”