Hundreds of householders in Surrey told not to drink tap water

More than 600 homes in Surrey have been told not to drink their tap water after tests carried out by Thames Water.

The company said results on Thursday indicated “a possible deterioration in quality” of drinking water “in some areas”.

A total of 616 houses in Bramley have been given the “precautionary” instruction not to use their water supply for drinking, cooking or brushing their teeth – though they can continue to use it to shower and wash hands.

It comes after the collection and assessment of drinking water in the village following a historical fuel leak from its petrol station.

The notice will remain in place while further investigations are carried out, Thames Water said.

The utility company added that letters and bottled water will be delivered to affected properties on Thursday evening.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said bottled water stations are being set up in the village.

Bramley is part of the South West Surrey constituency, represented by Mr Hunt for the Conservatives until Parliament was dissolved on Thursday.

He said he had spoken with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Thames Water, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), a local councillor and Asda – which operates a petrol station on the site of the fuel leak.

Mr Hunt is running for re-election in the new seat of Godalming and Ash which will replace his former constituency.

Complaints from locals about the fuel leak date back to 2021 and Mr Hunt said it posed a risk to the broadband and telephone services of 880 BT customers as the company’s ductwork passes the site.

Tess Fayers, Thames Water’s operations director for the Thames Valley and home counties, said: “We are asking 616 Bramley properties not to drink the tap water following recent water sampling results.

“The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority, and we would like to reassure residents that this is a precautionary measure.

“We are in the process of delivering letters and bottled water to the affected properties.

“We are also identifying locations to set up bottled water stations and we will share this information with our customers as soon as possible.

“We are already on site in the village proactively replacing sections of our pipes on Horsham Road to reduce the risk to our customers.”

Brixham contaminated water
About 17,000 households in Devon were warned earlier this month about a parasite outbreak (Ben Birchall/PA)

A Waverley Borough Council spokesperson said: “We are working closely with Thames Water and other agencies to try and mitigate the impact on residents, and we will support residents wherever possible.”

An Asda spokesperson said: “We are continuing to work closely with Thames Water and other partners to address the issues we inherited after acquiring the Bramley PFS site.

“We recognise the impact this has had on the residents of Bramley and share their frustrations.

“We are committed to working with all parties to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.”

A “boil water” notice was put in place for about 17,000 households in Brixham, Devon, earlier this month after a parasite outbreak caused by a contaminated water supply.

The number of confirmed cases of cryptosporidium has now reached 100, the UKHSA said on Thursday.

Thousands of homes in Surrey were left without water in November following Storm Ciaran, with more than a dozen schools forced to close.

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