Point Pleasant residents fear water shortages in pandemic

Residents living in a block of flats in Putney have voiced their anger after being left without access to water – before and during the pandemic. Since 2019, residents at 11 Point Pleasant, SW18, have experienced periods without water for drinking and washing due to problems with the building’s water mains. But with the threat of COVID-19, residents are worried these water outages pose greater health risks. Notting Hill Genesis, the housing association which manages the flats, say they have largely resolved the problem and are continuing investigations. Resident Scott Popham, 38, bought his property three and a half years ago, and says he has experienced “nothing but problems” since.  Mr Popham said the water has cut off 16 times this year, which is “incredibly dangerous” in a pandemic. “Notting Hill Genesis are putting 72 flats of people at risk by not having access to water when the government mandate in the pandemic is to wash your hands regularly. “Their gross negligence puts us in danger of contracting, spreading and dying of COVID-19,” he said.Mr Popham says he now fills his bath with water every night in case he wakes up the next morning and is without water. “We live in central London, not a third world country. The fact that we have to go to bed at night with the fear we’re going to wake up with no water is just not right,” he added.  Last year, he said the water was out for 11 consecutive days causing many residents to rely on stocks of bottled water.  A Notting Hill Genesis spokesperson said: “We are aware that there were a series of serious water outage issues between October 2019 and January 2020 and we carried out work that resolved those issues.“However, since then residents have continued to complain about short-term, intermittent outages. We put in place emergency cover and attended on weekend mornings to ensure any problems could be immediately managed, but the outages are short-term enough that by the time we have engineers on site, the system is back in working order.In a letter obtained by the Wandsworth Times in April, Notting Hill Genesis acknowledged “the hugely disruptive and potentially dangerous impact” the failure of the water supply had caused. The company set out a plan to resolve the issues, however, Mr Popham says eight months later little has changed at Point Pleasant.  Notting Hill Genesis' spokesperson added: “Investigations are continuing and we have instructed a second water pump specialist to survey and test the pumps to establish any potential issues that could be causing the outages.“Where residents have been left with no water we have supplied bottled water and have reimbursed any costs spent on water or additional washing materials. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to residents in Point Pleasant and will continue to keep them informed as our investigations progress.”