Bramley Road closed due to fuel leak and water safety warning

Image caption, Thames Water has set up bottled water stations

  • Author, Tanya Gupta
  • Role, BBC News, South East

A village dealing with a fuel leak at a petrol station that has affected water safety and created an underground explosion hazard has been told a road will be closed until repair work is completed.

Thames Water told more than 600 households in Bramley, Surrey, on Thursday not to drink their tap water after elevated levels of hydrocarbons were found in water samples.

The water company said it was now halfway through digging out pipes that needed to be replaced.

It said Station Road would be closed from June 4 for the duration of the works.

A spokeswoman for Thames Water said: “We are using special sound-absorbing barriers to reduce disruption as much as possible while we carry out this essential work.

“Stationweg will be closed from Tuesday for the duration of these works. We are very sorry for the additional disruption this will cause. This means that there may be some disruption at night and we will do our best to keep the disruption and further disruption to a minimum.”

Regional operations director Tess Fayers told BBC Radio Surrey that the work was expected to cause “huge disruption” to residents.

‘Horrible’

Bramley resident Evan Venn said residents were in ‘camping mode’ and drinking bottled water.

He said the main concern in the village was to ensure that the delivery of water supplies continued after some people did not receive anything.

“Traffic on Tuesday will be terrible in this area,” he added.

Ms Fayers said Thames Water was considering alternative transport arrangements and was moving towards night work.

Some businesses in the village have also received compensation offers from independent water retailer Castle Water.

Image source, BBC/Daniel Sexton

Image caption, Some warnings have been spray-painted on the ground.

On radio, Ms Fayers said three schools in the area had been affected by the ongoing water problems, but all planned to open as usual on Monday.

Ms Fayers explained that Thames Water was making arrangements to ensure they were supported with “tanker supplies”.

On Sunday, Conservative candidate for Godalming and Ash Jeremy Hunt said there was “confirmation” from Surrey County Council leader Tim Oliver that it was setting up a “strategic gold command” for the fuel leak.

Image caption, Thames Water said 616 homes were advised not to drink tap water as a precaution

On Thursday, 616 properties were told not to drink, cook or brush teeth with tap water, wash with it or give it to pets, even if it was boiled.

The water was safe for washing and flushing toilets, Thames Water said.

Two bottled water stations are open from 9am to 9pm BST at Bramley Community Library, a walk-in location, and at Artington Park & ​​Ride, Guildford, for those with cars.

Supplies are also being delivered to affected properties, Thames Water said.

The fuel leak comes from an Asda petrol station, which says it inherited the problem when it bought the site.

Residents have been complaining about the problem since 2021 and Thames Water has taken additional water samples since October 2023.

Thames Water said it would “like to reassure its customers that the village’s water supply is safe to drink to date”.

More about this story