Resident left with no water following burst pipe in Stratford Broadway loses compensation fight

Steve Ellis, who claims he was without water for days when a major pipe burst in Stratford Broadway.

Steve Ellis, who claims he was without water for days when a major pipe burst in Stratford Broadway. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

A resident who claims he was left without water for more than 48 hours when a pipe on Stratford Broadway burst has lost his fight for compensation.

Steve Ellis, who lives in Francis Street, said he didn’t have running water from 9.30am on Sunday, July 29, until he returned home from work on Tuesday evening.

He applied for compensation from Thames Water, but was told it would only be granted if the disruption lasted more than 48 hours – which Mr Ellis claimed it had.

“I reported it initially on the Sunday but it was on the Monday when I asked for compensation,” the 62-year-old said.

“They said I may be entitled to compensation, and I should contact the customer guarantee scheme.

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“I was told compensation would only be granted if the disruption lasted for longer than 48 hours, and according to their records, water was fully restored within 24.”

Emergency services were called just after 9am to the burst pipe, with 10 fire engines and 70 firefighters dealing with the floods.

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“The pipe was like a wild water rapid,” Steve said.

“It was like a torrent, the way it was gushing.”

Steve said he was without water for the whole of Sunday and Monday, and when he left for work at Newham College on Tuesday, there was still nothing coming from the taps. Neighbours in the block had similar issues.

“We couldn’t even make a cup of tea or have a shave,” he said.

“I came home from work on Monday and had to get more bottles of water and bring in a takeaway.

“I’m not bothered about having to buy water, but we couldn’t cook, we couldn’t bathe, we couldn’t do any washing. Everything was put on hold.”

Steve was told that water had been partially restored on Sunday evening, and it could have been an airlock in the pipes, or a lack of water pressure, which stopped the water coming through.

A Thames Water spokesman said once water supply was returned, it’s possible the pumps inside the building may have needed resetting.

He said: “Due to the complicated nature of the burst, it took longer than normal to get water supplies back to normal for a number of properties and we’re sorry for the disruption this caused.

“However, our records show that all supplies had returned to normal within 48 hours.”

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