05:30PM, Tuesday 10 March 2020
Concerned residents have hit out after being left without running water for more than four days at a block of flats in Slough.
More than 150 flats at Foundry Court have been without water since Friday after the water pumps failed.
Antony Quarrell, 43, who lives in the Mill Street flats with his wife and their nine-month-old baby said residents were concerned they were unable to wash their hands and follow Public Health England advice surrounding coronavirus.
The 43-year-old said he did not want to take any chances and booked a hotel – at a cost of £160 a night.
He said: “Many of us have young kids and we've had to go to hotels just to ensure we have adequate washing and toilet facilities to carry out the washing needed amid the corona crisis.
“Now we face being out of pocket for hotel bills and extra cost of hot food and water we’ve had to buy and the threat of a £38,000 plus bill being levied on residents.”
Mr Quarrell lives in a shared ownership flat which is partly owned by housing association A2Dominion – however property maintenance company Hazelvine is responsible for the water pumps.
He said Hazelvine only delivered bottled water to residents yesterday (Monday) but they were told they would be reimbursed for any ‘reasonable claim’ for drinking water purchased over the weekend.
He also fears residents could be billed for the cost of a new pump to restore the water supply – which could cost £38,000 and believes both companies should have been better prepared for the crisis.
A spokesman from Hazelvine has apologised to residents for the inconvenience and said it believes the water pumps failed because of a burst main – which is the responsibility of Thames Water.
He said: “We have informed Thames Water that we believe the burst main caused extensive flooding of facility and we intend to make a claim against Thames Water, otherwise the residents will be obliged to contribute to the repairs.
“We informed residents that we would reimburse any reasonable claim for drinking water and our operatives delivered some 42 cases of water over the weekend.
“We continue to work with the engineers and residents to resolve this matter as soon as possible.”
Thames Water said the problem was caused by the pumps which is Hazelvine’s responsibility to fix.
David Lingeman, director of property services, A2Dominion, said: “Our staff are in close contact with the managing agents of Foundry Court and are pressing them to restore water as soon as possible.
“We understand that not having water can be very distressing so we are working to contact vulnerable residents to check on their welfare and provide assistance if needed.
“Residents should keep the receipt for any bottled water bought as they will be reimbursed by the managing agents.”
The pumps were due to be fixed today.
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