A block of flats in Salford has been left without water for 30 hours – resulting in one resident walking all the way to a nearby Tesco to go to the toilet.
A letter sent to residents of Malus Court in Pendleton explained that the water supply needed to be turned off across the entire block in order to repair a water leak.
Another advised that people ‘fill up any pots, pans and buckets available’ and that they could use this – alongside bottled water provided – to flush their toilets.
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It also said that one toilet would be available in a community room at a neighboring block of flats – Hornbeam.
But not all residents are happy about what has been arranged.
Graeme Langton, who has nicknamed the issue ‘watergate’, is chose to venture beyond the Pendleton flats to go to the toilet.
He said he didn’t want to be standing over his toilet pouring water into it – and that it’s unsafe and unsanitary – to use the toilet in Hornbeam.
“I’m having to walk to Tesco to go to the toilet,” he said.
“You’ve got to walk under scaffolding. If it was a building site you’d have to have a hard hat on. It’s not safe. I don’t feel safe walking under the scaffolding. They think one toilet is enough for 84 flats, it’s stupid.
“Do you want me to sit on a toilet after 100 residents have used it? There’s a health issue there,” he said.
Graeme went on to claim that there is ‘probably no one’ using the toilet in Hornbeam.
“They’re probably all using cafes and Tesco like me,” he said.
But Graeme knows that other residents will have it worse.
“There are people here who are bedbound and frail and won’t even be able to carry a pot of water to put it down the toilet,” he told the MEN
Another resident at Malus Court says it feels like people living in the block and being treated like ‘cattle fodder’.
They’re already having to live in cold conditions after cladding was removed and not yet replaced and are struggling with mice infestations.
And, yesterday it was confirmed that residents will be facing a rent hike.
“I’ve had to get this and fill the bath up,” Eddie Farrell said, putting his arm around a large water cannister.
“We’ve still got a bath and a shower, some of them have only got showers. There’s a man upstairs who’s nearly 90 and there’s a lady next door who’s bed ridden,” he said.
In response to the complaints, a spokesperson for Pendleton Together confirmed that water in Malus court would be temporarily switched off from 9am 9 February until 3pm 10 February
They said: “We regret that, in addition to other works taking place, it has become necessary to switch off water to the block for up to 30 hours. We have informed residents individually and are placing staff on site to provide water and support as needed.
“From time to time all properties need emergency repairs and, in this case, a pipe joint is leaking in a communal area that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. This leaking joint is not related to the ongoing program of fire safety works. In order to carry out repairs, water must be shut off to the entire block.
“We have explored alternatives as we know this will cause the residents further inconvenience, for which we apologize. Unfortunately, the only effective approach to repair means shutting off all of the water to the block, though we have worked to do it for the shortest possible time.”
Pendleton Together said all residents in the block had been contacted about the water issues, with a team of staff on site to support people.
They added: “Residents will be given as much water as they need to keep hydrated, flush toilets and keep clean. They will also be able to access respite support in the Hornbeam Community room if they choose, however there is no need for residents to leave their home as there will be full support for them within the block.
“This support means residents can avoid the upheaval of having to relocate for a relatively short space of time unless they choose to do so.
“We have invited residents with further concerns to contact us. Any resident who is unsure should contact us immediately and we’ll put in place whatever is appropriate to support their individual needs.”
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