Thames Water say “zero evidence” drinking water is causing illness

Thames Water refutes accusation they are not extensively testing

London’s largest water supplier, Thames Water, have said there is “zero evidence” water they are supplying is causing illness, after being urged by the Labour party to “get a grip” with water quality testing.

According to a report in The Guardian on Wednesday (29 May), Labour’s Shadow Environment Secretary urged the company to test water treatment works “urgently” after claims emerged the company had tested the water at only one property in Beckenham, where dozens of people have reported being unwell with stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea.

Thames Water have refuted this, telling us “extensive testing” has been carried out – including in reservoirs and water treatment works serving Beckenham and other areas of London. The company says a total of 16 homes were tested in Beckhenham, all of which they say have come back clear, as have almost 2,000 tests across London for the month of May.

READ ALSO: Thames Water checking west London water quality after concerns raised

The water company, which is the UK’s largest water supplier, said they were continuing to carry out tests, not because they have found any issues, but to “provide reassurance” to customers worried their water supply may be compromised.

After The Chiswick Calendar raised the possibility of contaminated water quality locally, following reports by local people who had been boiling their tap water as a precaution, Thames Water confirmed on Wednesday they had also carried out tests in west & south-west London, but did not say whether any tests had been carried out in the Chiswick & Hammersmith water zone.

Testing has been carried out in the Twickenham and Kingston areas, both of which they say have come back clean.

The most recent report published on Thames Water’s website for Chiswick & Hammersmith states both areas have “very good quality” water, but this report only covers the period 1 Jan 2023 to 31 December 2023.

“London’s water remains at our usual high quality, wholesome standards”

A Thames Water spokesperson said:

“There is zero evidence that the water we are supplying is causing any illness.

“Where customers have reported an issue we are undertaking tests, all of which have so far come back showing that London’s water remains at our usual high quality, wholesome standards.

“We have carried out extensive testing in the Beckenham area since last week, including the reservoirs and water treatment works that serve this and other areas as well as at customers’ properties. This includes tests from 16 homes all of which have come back clear, and almost 2,000 tests across London this month, again, all of which have come back clear.

“We are continuing to test in the area, but this is to provide reassurance and not because we have found any issues. This is on top of our routine work to continuingly [sic] monitor and carry out regular sampling across the whole of our supply area, which verifies the excellent quality of the drinking water we supply.

“We take the quality of our water extremely seriously – it is the highest quality drinking water in the world – and since 2010 more than 99.95% of tests taken from customers’ taps met the standard required by UK legislation. Every year we carry out more than 500,000 tests, taking samples from source to tap.

“Customers can find information about their water supply by inputting their postcode on our website. Should anyone be concerned about their tap water, we’d encourage them to contact us.”