This is why some Portsmouth residents have been left without water for days

Blackwood House. Picture: Sarah Standing
Blackwood House. Picture: Sarah Standing

FRUSTRATED residents of a Portsmouth City Council block have been left without running for four days after a water tank pump broke.

The water supply for the upper floors of Blackwood House in Buckland was cut off at around 4am on Saturday morning.

Today the council revealed work would be carried out to fix the problem with the delievery of new pumps.

However, several of those living in the council flats voiced their frustration at the council’s slow response.

Blackwood House resident, Donna Chisholm, said: 'In the early hours of Saturday morning I noticed that there was no water. I rang the council and was told to contact Portsmouth Water but when I rang Portsmouth Water they said it was nothing to do with them.

'Someone from the council did come out to look at it and said it would take 24 hours to get it sorted.

'I spoke to them again on Monday morning and no one seemed to have a clue that I'd spoken to them already. They did say that it was something to do with the pump.'

The 32-year-old said some water was provided, although it was not enough. 'After calling them they gave us some bottled water but it was only for drinking not to use for washing or anything,' she said.

'Even if we did want to use it for our bathrooms we couldn’t because they would give us four bottles which isn’t enough to flush a toilet. And sometimes we were waiting two hours for bottled water.'

'None of us have had baths. We can't wash our clothes.

‘I am going to back to work on Thursday and my daughter is going back to school next week. We need to be able to shower and wash our clothes.'

One of her neighbours, 25-year-old Chanelle Ash, agreed.

The mum-of-four said: 'We have had no water to do washing up or wash clothes or bath. The kids suffer too. I have a baby who needs water to be able to adequately wash her bottles.

'We also can’t flush the toilet, the council say we have to just put up with it until it’s fixed and just have to live and be a bit smelly for the time being.

'I’m worried for the elderly and vulnerable people it is affecting.

'The council say the water tank pump had broken down and they will fix it but we keep getting told it will be another day. It's awful how they’ve let it go on for so long.

‘I’ve got piles of washing mounting up and my youngest children are having to just wear their nappies at the moment.’

Ms Ash also believed residents of adjacent Weller House were affected, although this has not been confirmed by the council.

Portsmouth City Council's assistant director of housing, Paul Fielding, explained the issue. He said: ’We have been made aware that Blackwood House has been without water since Saturday morning following a fault with one of the two water pumps in the block. After further investigation, it's been established that the second  pump which pumps the water up to all properties within the 7 storey block has failed.

‘Due to this happening over the bank holiday, we were unable to obtain replacement parts at the weekend and we supplied residents with bottled water in the meantime.

‘Our contractor has now completed a temporary fix to allow the failed pump to supply water up to properties. Two brand new pumps will be delivered today.

‘We'll need to briefly turn the water off for a couple of hours whilst they're installed, but there should be enough stored water in the roof tank to allow for this without disruption. We're grateful to the building's residents for their patience whilst the issue is dealt with.’