Asda Express bramley

The fuel leak at the Asda Express forecourt in Bramley, Surrey, has led to nearby residents being advised not to drink the tap water by Thames Water.

Thames Water has been carrying out additional water sampling in Bramley since October 2023, following the historical fuel leak from the village petrol station.

The ‘do not drink tap water’ advice follows results from last Thursday, which indicated elevated levels of hydrocarbons. Drinking water with hydrocarbons in it may lead to nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain, however low levels of exposure are not expected to cause long-term health effects.

The notice means residents at 616 properties have been asked not to use their water supply for drinking, cooking or brushing their teeth – they can continue to use it to shower and wash their hands. Letters detailing the problem and bottled water were hand delivered to affected properties last Thursday. Thames Water has now set up two bottled water stations at Bramley Community Library and Artington Park & Ride.

The ‘do not drink’ advice will remain in place while further investigations are carried out.

First complaints about a suspected fuel leak at the forecourt date back to 2021. Asda took ownership of the site when it acquired it from the Co-op in 2022, however the company only began running the site operationally last October. Since then, it has been working with local authorities and experts to try and understand where the leak came from and how it could be sorted. Works begun on a remediation strategy in February, which has since been completed.

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.”

Tess Fayers, operations director for the Thames Valley and Home Counties, said the company was ‘proactively’ replacing sections of pipes on Horsham Road to reduce the risk to its customers.”

Thames Water will continue to assess the situation through its monitoring programme and will work with public authorities, including UKHSA and Waverly Borough Council.