Kingsbury residents fear burst water pipe flooding has left them exposed to raw sewage

Residents fear the water filled whole has exposed them to sewage (Pic credit: Nathalie Raffray)

Residents fear the water filled whole has exposed them to sewage (Pic credit: Nathalie Raffray) - Credit: Archant

Kingsbury residents who were left without water for almost 12 hours following a burst pipe and a pavement collapse yesterday now fear they may be exposed to raw sewage.

Bush Grove in Kingsbury under water after a water main burst while builders were excavating a baseme

Bush Grove in Kingsbury under water after a water main burst while builders were excavating a basement - Credit: Archant

More than 240 homes in Bush Grove were affected by the double incident at 4.30pm which resulted in thousands of gallons of water gushing out on to the streets.

An investigation has been launched to determine the cause of the mishap but residents believe a basement excavation project could be the culprit.

Ian Hobbs claims the burst pipe happened as builders were digging a huge hole up to 20 feet deep which he fears is now filled with sewage.

He said electrical cables were exposed on the edge of the dug out hole, close to the burst water mains and the surface drain, which catches rainwater, was broken.

R collapsed pavement (Pic credit: Adam Thomas)

R collapsed pavement (Pic credit: Adam Thomas) - Credit: Archant

This he claims has resulted in the hole being filled with sewage, saying: “If it is that pile of water at the bottom of the hole will be contaminated.”

Residents have slammed Brent Council claiming their fierce objection to planning permission for the works, comprising of a three-bedroom house with a basement, fell on deaf ears.

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Mr Hobbs said: “Either Brent’s surveyor is incompetent or the builder is. If the surveyor had made checks then why is there no shoring up? No corrugated iron sheets holding the ground? Why is there no name of the building company anywhere? Why are there not signs saying ‘deep excavation’?

“Why is there only one ladder for the six builders who were down there?”

Harold Evelyn, another resident, said: “If next door slips, we will be pulled with it. What they are doing with the water now, obviously I’m worried.”

His wife Delores, added: “When they were digging I could see all the pipes. It looked unsafe. The council allowed this to happen. The council sanctioned it.”

Affinity Water, the estate’s supplier, worked through the night to restore resident’s water supply, each given a litre bottle to tide them over. They also erected secure fencing.

A spokesman said: “The cause for the collapsed footway, adjacent to the large private basement excavation, is currently being investigated by Brent Council.”

Cllr Muhammed Butt, leader of Brent Council, said: “We visited Bush Grove where a water main had been damaged. It was caused by the undermining of the pavement outside the property, due to a deep excavation inside the property, which was inadequately supported.

“The excavation is part of works to build a two-storey, three-bedroom detached house with a basement. Whilst planning committee granted permission for this in 2011, it is the responsibility of the applicant to undertake the construction works in line with building control regulations and the applicant will be responsible for any damage caused.

“The footway is closed until the extent of the damage is known. Officers from building control will also do an assessment liaising with the builder and their professional advisors to prevent further issues. This matter has also been reported to the HSE.”

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