Thames Water has donated £40,000 to two west London environmental charities to benefit the communities who temporarily lost water supply on Christmas Day.
Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE) and Friends of Richmond Park (FRP) will each receive half of the money to spend on community projects, including the restoration of ponds and streams in Richmond Park and the relaunch of a green gym which closed late last year due to a lack of funding.
The pumps at Hampton water works suffered an unplanned shutdown at 10am on December 25, resulting in a loss of water supply and low pressure to customers in the surrounding area.
Thames Water has since completed a full investigation into what happened, working with independent specialist companies, and taken immediate steps to prevent a repeat. This includes changes to the control systems and alarm settings, as well as looking at how customers could be supplied from an alternative treatment works in emergencies.
Thames Water director Richard Aylard said: “Losing water supply or suffering from low pressure is always inconvenient, but we’re fully aware this incident was particularly disruptive and distressing to our customers because it took place on Christmas Day.
“We’re sorry to all residents who suffered. In recognition of this, we’ve agreed to make a donation of £40,000 to two local environmental charities, Friends of the River Crane Environment (FORCE) and Friends of Richmond Park, who will put the money to good use for many people to enjoy over many years.”
FRP chairman Ron Compton said: “We are very grateful for this generous donation. Water is the lifeblood of Richmond Park and its wildlife; this donation will enable the improvement of the park's largest water bodies, Beverley Brook and Pen Ponds.”
FORCE will use the funds to help resurrect the Richmond Green Gym, designed to help people gain gentle, managed exercise, while also providing small scale and cumulative environmental improvements to open spaces along the lower Crane Valley in the Twickenham and Whitton areas.
FORCE chairman Rob Gray said: “We are grateful to Thames Water for this gesture which will allow us to resurrect the Richmond Green Gym. We will be launching the project in the Autumn and everyone will be welcome to take part. This project is designed to benefit the health of local people as well as the appearance and environmental value of our local spaces.”