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West London man told to wash with bottle of water after tower block’s taps stop working

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A man in West London was told to wash with bottles of water after the supply in his tower block stopped working. Matt Sutton, from South Acton, discovered that no water was coming out of the taps in his flat on the morning of February 10, and that the water supply in the building had been cut off.

He contacted Catalyst Housing, the housing association responsible for maintaining the building, who sent out an engineer to inspect the building. Matt said: “The plumber came and looked at [the building] and concluded that the problem was with Thames Water.” However, according to Matt, an engineer from Thames Water who came later the same day confirmed that the issue was with the water pumps inside the building, making the lack of water an issue Catalyst needed to handle.

When Matt, 32, went back to Catalyst, he was told they couldn’t send another engineer out that day. He said: “They said they couldn’t send another plumber out that day and they mentioned that we should buy some bottles of water to wash with and drink. That just felt degrading. It really felt like a kick in the teeth.”

According to Matt, the whole apartment block had no water for 12 hours, during which time residents couldn’t wash, drink tap water or flush their toilets. Because he was unable to use his own bathroom, that afternoon Matt was forced to walk to a nearby Sainsbury’s to use their toilet.

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Catalyst eventually did send out an engineer who was able to restore the water, he claimed, albeit with very low water pressure. Matt said: “This has been really frustrating and uncomfortable for us.” However, Matt says that he felt most concerned for how the lack of water might affect other, more vulnerable residents living in his apartment block and so wanted to speak out on their behalf.

He added: “I know it wasn’t just us in that boat. The reason I feel this strongly about [the water issue] is for those people who do not have the same advantages as us.” Catalyst confirmed that they would reimburse any residents forced to buy bottles of water as a result of the water outage if they can show receipts.

A spokesperson for Catalyst Housing said: “We’re very sorry for the inconvenience caused by the delay in adequately fixing the water pump. There is a global shortage of parts and it took time to source what was needed to improve the water pressure, however there was water to all homes within 12 hours.

“We recognise our communication should have been better in this instance, and apologise that our customer service was not at the standard it should be in dealing with this particular customer’s queries.”

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https://www.mylondon.news/news/west-london-news/west-london-man-told-wash-23281533