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Thames and Affinity test emergency water deliveries in London

Thames Water and Affinity Water have taken part in London's first emergency planning exercise designed to test how councils would respond if there was a major disruption to water supplies.

Ealing council leader Julian Bell fills a sachet from the emergency bowserEaling council leader Julian Bell fills a sachet from the emergency bowser

Ealing Council worked with the two water companies, which jointly provide water to the London borough, to stage a mock delivery by tanker to three 1,000-litre bowsers outside Ealing Town Hall.

Officials from the council’s highways department watched as a giant Thames Water tanker parked in a coned-off area of New Broadway and part-filled one of the bowsers.

As traffic continued to flow freely, council leader Julian Bell filled a five-litre emergency sachet with water and declared the exercise a success.

Councillor Bell said: “It’s vital we work with water companies to ensure that if there is an incident that affects supplies we have plans in place to provide water to residents. These large bowsers have never been used in London before and today’s exercise proves that if there’s a real emergency we know we can respond quickly.”

Thames Water field operations manager Juan Ring, who helped to co-ordinate the exercise, added: “Emergency planning is essential to making sure our customers have access to drinking water at all times. We hope we never have to use this kind of equipment, of course. But we’ve proved today that if in the unlikely event the worst did happen, our resilience plan works.”

More complex exercises involving water resilience are likely to be held in other London boroughs in the future.

Author: James Brockett,
Topic: Water resources
Tags: London , planning , water companies


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