Surrey residents ‘unable to bathe or flush toilets for days’ amid water issues

Tap above to watch video report by Chloe Keedy

Surrey residents say they have been left unable to bathe their children or flush the toilet for days due to ongoing water supply issues in the area.

Thames Water has apologised for problems in areas including Guildford and Godalming, saying Storm Ciaran had created issues at the Shalford water treatment works, with as many as 12,000 people affected.

Alex Gill, 38, who lives in Godalming, said that his water went off at some point on Saturday morning and he has received no communication from Thames Water since.

“We’ve got a two and four-year-old who are just filthy now,” Mr Gill, who is a senior designer and works in advertising, added.

The school and nursery are closed, he said, “so having to juggle them with our quite intense jobs”.

“My partner has an operation scheduled for tomorrow morning as part of her cancer treatment.

“It’s up in Sutton at the Royal Marsden but if the kids can’t go into their childcare setting tomorrow, I’m not quite sure what to do as we’re quite isolated from our families here.”

He said the family are “about to run out of crockery” and “haven’t been able to go to the toilet”.

He added: “We tried to get water from the bottle water station but the wait was over an hour both times, which I couldn’t do at those times so we’ve spent about £40-50 on bottled water.”

He said he has received “the most conclusive” updates from posts by local MP Jeremy Hunt’s on X, formerly Twitter.

“(Thames Water) have a page on their website which was vague at best and updated maybe three to four times a day,” he added.

“But we’ve had to look for all the information, when in a situation like this, (we) feel it should be more transparent and forthcoming.”

Around 12,000 people remain without running water in areas including Guildford and Godalming Credit: PA

Emma Taylor, from Guildford, said that her water has been off and on from Friday and communication from Thames Water has been “dire”.

She said: “It was off for a long period on Friday, it was off for a long period on Saturday and yesterday, pretty much all day.

“It came on briefly this morning but it was a trickle and now it’s gone again.

“I am unable to flush the loo which is ridiculous, especially when you have young children, and we can’t really cook … it’s just been really frustrating and what I don’t understand is why it is taking (Thames Water) so long to fix it, and the complete lack of communication.

“They need to fix the problem – it has been three days and it is still not fixed.

“We pay them a huge amount of money and it is not acceptable. They need to sort it out and the problem is we’re held to ransom because we can’t choose a different provider, it’s only them and they are not performing.”

David Bird, retail director for Thames Water, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: “We absolutely accept that the quality of service that has been provided to our customers has not been at the level they would want, but obviously, in this specific incident in Guildford, it has been as a result of one of the biggest storms we’ve had in a decade.

“My focus today is making sure we are supporting all of our customers.”

Thames Water has been contacted for comment.

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