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Burst pipe in Hampstead sends water towering over four-storey building

Construction workers try to stem flow with mud, which "just turned the stream brown"

23 October, 2018 — By Suzie Barrett, William McLennan

A burst water main in Hampstead has created a high-pressure jet of water reaching the top of a four-storey building.

It is believed construction workers were digging up the tarmac in Willow Road, near the junction with Pilgrims Lane, at the time.

Eyewitness Mick O’Neill said: “It’s going as high as a five-storey building. The construction workers have got a big JCB there and they tried to use to stop the water coming out.

“First they tried with a hand-held broom or spade. Obviously hopeless. Then the JCB’s metal itself and then some mud, which just turned the stream brown.”

The site of the leak is just a few yards away from modernist architect Ernö Goldfinger’s 1939 home, now run as a National Trust attraction.

Thames Water said in a statement: “We’re sorry to any customers who experienced no water or low pressure following the burst to the water main. Our engineers responded quickly to stop water flowing from the pipe and are working hard to fix the issue to get things back to normal as soon as possible.”

Water was cut off to 22 homes on the street, but has now been restored to all but one.

In March, Hampstead residents were told not to take baths or use dishwashers as Thames Water struggled to cope with “multiple bursts” of supply pipes.

The company asked for “support and understanding” after the entire Hampstead reservoir, near Whitestone Pond, ran dry.

The firm began handing out bottled water from the back of a lorry at East Heath car park after tap water supplies ran down.


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