Bramley: Thames Water tells hundreds of people in Surrey not to drink tap water

Hundreds of people living in a village in Surrey have been warned not to drink tap water after tests carried out by Thames Water.

A total of 616 homes in Bramley, near Guildford, have been told not to use their water supply for drinking, cooking, or brushing their teeth, in what the company calls a "precautionary" measure.

They can, however, continue to use it to shower, and wash their hands.

Tests on Thursday suggested "a possible deterioration in quality" of drinking water "in some areas", linked to a historical fuel leak from a petrol station, Thames Water said.

Bottled water would be delivered to affected properties, the company added on Thursday evening.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, the Tory candidate standing for election in the constituency, said bottled water stations were being set up in the village.

Mr Hunt said on the X social media platform that 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.

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

Mr Hunt is running against candidates from Labour, Lib Dems, Green, and Reform, in the new seat of Godalming and Ash, which will replace the constituency in July's general election.

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".

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 it was working to address the issue and recognised "the impact this has had on the residents of Bramley and share their frustrations."

"We are continuing to work closely with Thames Water and other partners to address the issues we inherited after acquiring the Bramley site," the spokesperson added.

"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.

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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.