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Surrey village urged not to drink tap water after ‘possible deterioration’

More than 600 homes in a Surrey village have been told not to drink their tap water after tests indicated “a possible deterioration in quality” linked to a historical fuel leak.

Thames Water issued a total of 616 houses in Bramley a “precautionary” instruction not to use their water supply for drinking, cooking or brushing their teeth – though they can continue to shower and wash hands.

On Thursday, test results revealed high levels of hydrocarbons – which are found in fuel – in the water supply.

It follows renewed concerns over several months about a leak from the village’s petrol station dating back to 2021.

The precautionary notice will remain in place while further investigations are carried out, Thames Water added.

The utility company said that letters and bottled water would be delivered to affected properties on Thursday evening.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who represented the South West Surrey constituency where Bramley lies until Parliament was dissolved on Thursday, said bottled water stations are being set up in the village.

He added that he had spoken with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), Thames Water, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), a local councillor and Asda – which operates the petrol station on the site of the fuel leak.

Hunt is running for re-election in the new seat of Godalming and Ash which will replace his former constituency.

The fuel leak poses a risk to the broadband and telephone services of 880 BT customers as the company’s ductwork passes the site, Mr Hunt added.

The Environment Agency said earlier this year it was continuing to investigate an “ongoing groundwater pollution incident in Bramley”.

Tess Fayers, Thames Water’s 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.”

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.”

A “boil water” notice was put in place for about 17,000 households in Brixham, Devon, earlier this month after a parasite outbreak caused by a contaminated water supply.

The number of confirmed cases of cryptosporidium has now reached 100, the UKHSA said on Thursday.

Thousands of homes in Surrey were left without water in November following Storm Ciaran, and more than a dozen schools were forced to close.

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