Residents in the area of Reading found themselves without a supply of mains water for the third time in less than a month. Supplier Thames Water said that up to around 80 homes in the Shinfield vicinity experienced problems at around 3AM in July as a result of two burst pipes.
At the end of June, approximately 26,000 homes were left without water for nine hours when a pump at nearby Earley failed to work. Then, just last week, a failed pump affected around 1000 customers.
In the meantime, whilst engineers worked to fix the problem, households were given bottles of water to help them get by. A spokesperson for Thames Water apologised to customers affected. She said that the previous water supply problem was completely unrelated to the most recent issue. However, she added that the earlier problems were both caused by a pump failure at Earley.
Thames Water added that the leaks in Fair Lawn Gardens and Winton Road were repaired by mid-morning. The company also pointed out that compensation is available to customers who had been affected by a lack of water supply for 12 consecutive hours.
The incident comes as Thames Water announced that they are looking for new investors to sponsor the structure of a multi million pound super-sewer in London and the surrounding areas. The company also began developing a new reservoir which will treat drinking water at the Earley site at the beginning of the year. However, Thames Water is still looking for new sites to place the water storage in order to cope with growing demand over the coming decades. The reservoir, which is lined with concrete will have a cover which can be used as parkland when it eventually opens at the end of the year. At the time of announcement, Thames Water admitted that the new facility was currently ‘a drop in the ocean’.