We reported on Monday 8th August that on one side of Wilshaw House, tenants had been without water to flush loos and cold water in the bathroom for three days. We also reported on Friday 12th that this matter had been resolved by Wednesday 10th.
However, we learned yesterday that the matter is far from resolved. For some tenants, normal service was resumed on Tuesday, but others could not flush their loos till Wednesday evening. A leaseholder called Lewisham Homes on Wednesday afternoon and was told the problem was because the ball cock in the water tank had stopped working, and they had no spares to replace it with. They had sent off for the part and it would take a while but perhaps be fixed by Friday.
The choice was whether to keep the water turned off (no toilet flushing) or turn it back on – but, said the LH guy, 'there might be some leaks' – if the water went back on in flats where people were out but had left the taps on, they might experience flooding.
The water was turned back on. And so from Wednesday and ongoing, there has been water cascading from an overflow pipe onto the porch roof below then bouncing onto the area in front of the porch, necessitating the use of an umbrella to get to the first floor or to access the ground floor flats either side of the stairwell.
This is equivalent in noise levels to five days of non-stop rain.
The very same thing occurred at the end of June at Castell House. Stickman posted on June 30th that the water tank in Castell had been leaking for three days. Both he and the caretakers had reported it. He'd been told by Repairs that it wasn't 'an emergency' and would be fixed the following day. Nine days and gallons of wasted water later, on Wednesday July 6th he reported that Repairs had denied that anyone had contacted them the week before, suggesting the first time it had been reported was the day before. They told him it was now classed as an emergency and someone would come and fix it on the following Monday, making it a total of 14 days that residents had had to endure the sound of water crashing onto a tin roof and splashing onto the forecourt.
After that, any sane person would expect Repairs to have a few spare ballcocks, valves and other plumbing necessities in reserve for just these sorts of occasions. But they quite obviously do not. If the job is contracted out, then the contractors should be sacked.
We are also alarmed to realise that our bathroom cold water comes from the water tank rather than direct from the mains, and is therefore not drinking water. What have we been cleaning our teeth with all this time?
Update Tuesday 16th August: The water was turned on this morning, apparently, although it was not clear then whether the problem was actually fixed. But ground floor residents were able to flush their loos. It is probably a co-incidence that Cllr Paul Bell (who sits on the board of Lewisham Homes) was referred to this post yesterday afternoon.