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Millions of litres of water have been spewing out of a burst pipe in Collier Row for the past week, just days after Havering’s water provider urged residents to use water sparingly.

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Essex and Suffolk Water, which provides drinking supplies throughout the borough, asked customers to use water as “as wisely as possible”, following the driest 18 months in more than a century.

Many other areas of London will face a hosepipe ban on Thursday.

But outraged residents in Collier Row have hit out at the company’s “double-standards”, after watching water gush out of a drain in Carter Close since last Monday (March 26).

“It’s like the rivers of Babylon,” said Michael Speckman-Bell, “We‘ve reported it and they said people had been sent out, but it’s still gushing out.

“It’s absolute madness that at a time when there’s a hosepipe ban coming into many areas and we’re being told to be careful about how we use this water, there’s so much water literally going down the drain. It smacks of double standards.”

A spokesman for Essex and Suffolk Water said they are aware of the leak and are trying to establish whether it’s from their supply or from Thames Water’s, which manages drainage in the borough.

“We are very keen to get this sorted,” the spokesman said, “It’s in no-one’s interest to have water leaking in this fashion.

“We have sent people down to have a look at this twice, but tests as to whether it’s drinking water have so far proved inconclusive. We will be sending more engineers again today (Monday).”

Thames Water told the Recorder it was a matter for Essex and Suffolk.

Martin Lunn, supply demand strategy manager for Essex & Suffolk Water, told customers last month: “Following the unusually prolonged dry spell, we are encouraging customers to work with us to use water as wisely as possible to protect supplies.

“Our resources are not currently at a level where it is necessary to introduce restrictions, but it is particularly important at the moment that we all take extra care to ensure no water is wasted.”

In total, seven water companies in southern and eastern England will impose temporary restrictions on domestic customers.

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