Tests show contamination in ground
South East Water says it was alerted to a petrol odour coming from customer taps at the flats in Cornes Close, Willesborough, in December 2012.
Initial investigations suggested the odour was a result of fuel draining into one of the underground chambers.
However, subsequent investigations with the Environment Agency showed that these are historical deposits within the soil.
A new petrol-resistant chamber and specialist barrier pipes, which would prevent chemicals penetrating the pipelines, were installed just before Christmas 2012. However, as the smell is still present, they now believe the smell could be coming from the pipes within the property, which is owned by the Salvation Army Housing Association.
A spokesman said: “South East Water is responsible for the water mains which lead to a customers’ property boundary, any pipework within private land is the responsibility of the property owner.
“As these deposits are also found within the private land we have been in regular contact with the Housing Association over the past 12 months to assist with their work to install special barrier pipe within their land.
“Once this section of pipework has been installed within the property’s boundary the odour issue should be fully resolved. We would like to stress that the odour poses no risk to human health.
“While initial tests on the water were being carried out, we did supply bottled water to customers of the properties affected during December 2012 but took the decision to extend this until March 2013 as a gesture of goodwill.”