Update on Bramley fuel leak roadworks after 600 homes told not to drink water

Raodworks around the petrol station
-Credit: (Image: SurreyLive)

Lengthy roadworks in Bramley south of Guildford that aim to rectify a long-standing fuel leak that left more than 600 homes unable to drink tap water have ended, Thames Water confirmed. It comes as the water company gave an update and said it hopes to be able to lift ‘do not drink’ restrictions in early July.

These remain in place and have been in force for 621 properties for more than a month as a “precautionary measure” after test results alerted officials to “a possible deterioration in quality” of water in the area. People in Bramley were told they should not drink tap water, give it to their pets, use it to cook with, brush their teeth with, or wash up with.

Bottled water has been delivered to affected properties since the ‘do not drink’ advice on May 30. Drivers had also been warned to avoid the area due to disruption from the roadworks in place to resolve the issue.

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A Thames Water spokesperson confirmed to SurreyLive: “Following 24/7 work, we have now reopened Station Road, having replaced a key section of pipework and a valve close to the petrol station. This is an essential step in getting things back to normal for the impacted properties affected by the ‘do not drink’ notice.”

The spokesperson emphasised that customer health and safety is the company’s top priority and confirmed that the precautionary ‘do not drink’ measure that was introduced on May 30 remains in place, despite the progress. They continued: “We will continue to deliver bottled water to impacted households until we can be confident there is no risk to the water supply.

“We will also continue to carry out extensive sampling across the impacted area so we are confident the hydrocarbons from the fuel leak are no longer at a level which is a risk to health.” An accelerated testing programme has been agreed between Thames Water and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) that hopes to be able to lift the ‘do not drink’ advice in early July.

Residents in the area have been advised they can help the ‘switch on’ process by running their kitchen taps for between five and 10 minutes every day. Thames Water said this is not essential but will help move water around in internal plumbing.

The Thames Water spokesperson added: “However, because the fuel in the ground is widespread, we must be clear that this work will not solve all the problems. This will depend on the remedial activities undertaken by EPS, the environmental consultants employed by ASDA, who took control of the site in 2023 to clean up the groundwater contamination.”

Thames Water said the approach to the ‘do not drink’ measures will be guided by the results of water quality testing. Drinking water restrictions will only be removed when tests show consistently clear results.

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