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Date posted: 31 May 2024

Thames Water issues do not drink tap water notice to 616 Bramley properties (GU5, Surrey)

  • Thames Water is today (Thursday 30 May 2024) introducing a precautionary ‘do not drink’ notice to 616 Bramley households.
  • The company has been carrying out additional water sampling in Bramley since October 2023, following a historical fuel leak from the village petrol station.
  • The do not drink tap water advice follows results received today indicating elevated levels of hydrocarbons.
  • The notice means 616 residents are asked not to use their water supply for drinking, cooking or brushing their teeth - customers can continue to use the water to shower and wash hands.
  • Letters and bottled water will be hand delivered to those affected properties over this evening and tomorrow morning.

Thames Water has been regularly collecting and assessing drinking water samples in Bramley, following a historical fuel leak from the village petrol station.

It has issued ‘do not drink’ advice as a precautionary measure, following test results received today which indicate a possible deterioration in quality in some areas.

Thames Water would like to reassure its customers that the village water supply has been safe to drink up to this point, as confirmed through its rigorous water testing, which has also been subject to regular review working alongside UKHSA throughout this period.

The ‘do not drink’ advice will remain in place while further investigations are carried out. During this time the affected customers are advised:

  • Don’t drink the tap water or give to pets.
  • Don’t prepare or cook food using tap water.
  • Don’t use tap water to brush your teeth.
  • Don’t use tap water even after boiling.
  • Can use tap water to wash.
  • Can use tap water to flush the loo. 

Tess Fayers, Operations Director for the Thames Valley and Home Counties said:

“We are asking 616 Bramley properties not to drink the tap water following recent water sampling results. “The health and safety of our customers is our number one priority, and we would like to reassure residents that this is a precautionary measure. We are in the process of delivering letters and bottled water to the affected properties..We are also identifying locations to set-up bottled water stations and we will share this information with our customers as soon as possible.

“We are already on site in the village proactively replacing sections of our pipes on Horsham Road to reduce the risk to our customers”

Thames Water will continue to carefully assess the situation through its monitoring programme and will work with public authorities, including UKHSA and Waverly Borough Council.

A Waverley Borough Council spokesperson, said: “We are working closely with Thames Water and other agencies to try and mitigate the impact on residents, and we will support residents wherever possible.”

An Asda spokesperson said: “We are continuing to work closely with Thames Water and other partners to address the issues we inherited after acquiring the Bramley PFS site. We recognise the impact this has had on the residents of Bramley and share their frustrations. We are committed to working with all parties to resolve this situation as quickly as possible.”


Waverley’s Environmental Protection Team first became involved in February 2023 when complaints were received from the Jolly Farmer public house about fuel odours in their cellar.

Initially it was suspected it was linked to a fuel spillage on the forecourt of the petrol filling station, but this was ruled out. The Environmental Protection Team surveyed the village for other possible sources but nothing was found, so the focus was back on the petrol filling station.

Surrey County Council Trading Standards Petroleum Officers investigated and initial tests on the tanks and pipework did not reveal any leakage. Investigations continued and it became apparent that it was an historical leak from the petrol filing station. Asda confirmed this at a public meeting on 27 May at Bramley Village Hall.    

Waverley Borough Council does not have any statutory powers to deal with a leak like this, so the council's primary focus has been to evaluate the impact on the community and provide support where necessary to the most vulnerable.

Since the complaints first arose, the Environmental Protection Team has organised regular meetings with all of the key agencies, Waverley Borough Council, Surrey County Council Trading Standards and the Environment Agency, along with representatives from Thames Water, Asda and more recently BT Open Reach, to coordinate a response to the issue.


Categories: Council News

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