Problems with the Water Supply to your block
In the last three weeks we have had major water supply failures to Burwash House where we have had to turn the water off for up to eight hours each time, with some people having problems for even longer
Each time the problem has been caused by the pipes having corroded away, due to the age and construction of the building. While we have have not had problems in Simla House yet, we would anticipate similar problems because the block is constructed in the same way.
What is the problem?
When the blocks were built 50 years ago the main supply pipes were run up ducts through your bathroom and through the concrete slab seperating each floor. Over the years the pipework and concrete have reacted causing the main supply pipe to corrode. Nowadays the pipes would be sleeved to stop this happening. Please see the photograph.
Each time a repair is needed the main supply has to switched off and we need to drill into the concrete slab. This is disruptive for the person whose flat we need to work in. The whole block has the water cut off. Unplanned repairs on this scale are expensive, which will feed through to homeowners un-itemised repair costs.
What are we doing about it?
We realise these structural problems mean that we will need to completely replace the main water supply piping to Burwash House and Simla House.
We have started off the process of letting a contract to renew the main supply pipes in both blocks and fit sleeves. This involves two sets of four week consultation with home owners and a competitive tendering process. Ideally, we would like to follow through with this process because it gives homeowners a chance to have their say and the work to be planned in a comprehensive way.
However, the standard process takes 9 to 12 months to organise. At the moment we are trying to work out if we have had a run of back luck with the water leaks and we can continue with this process, or whether we need to do the work on an emergency basis.
If we need to do the replacement work on an emergency basis we will issue a notice to homeowners and then ask our repair contractor to undertake the works. We will obviously keep you informed of the progress we make.
Bathroom and Toilet ceilings
We have also written to you about the false ceilings in your bathroom and toilet that contain asbestos. At the moment our thinking is that water supply renewal and asbestos removal are both specialist jobs and we should commission the work seperately.
If you find yourself without water again
If we have to turn the water off again in Burwash we will open up the TRA room under Simla House for the use of residents. During the working day the JMB office will be open for water collection and we have a shower room. Also we can get fresh drinking water to anyone who has problems getting out of their home.
If you want more information you can talk to Ron Elston, Repairs Manager, Alan Gawler, Major Works Manager, Simon Pearce, Resident Liaison Officer or Andy Bates, JMB Manager