London Fire Brigade

Burst water main in Herne Hill

07 August 2013

More than eighty firefighters attended a suspected burst water main on Half Moon Lane in Herne Hill in south east London today.

An area of 200 metres by 200 metres was flooded, and the water was a metre and a half deep in some places. The large water main has been switched off and the water has now subsided.

Ten fire engines from Brixton, Forest Hill and neighbouring fire stations went to the scene and a high volume pump is being used to pump out flooded basements.

The Environment Agency is also on the scene, along with staff from the local councils and National Power, who have turned off the electricity in the affected area. The gas board is also attending because of the smell of gas.

Brixton Fire Station Manager Bruce Grain, who is at the scene, said:

“The flooding is in a hollow on Half Moon Lane where five roads converge. At its peak the water was up to a metre and a half deep and covered an area of about 200 metres by 200 metres, but fortunately it has now subsided although we will be there for most of the day helping to clean up the area. Six fire engines are remaining at the scene to pump water out of basements

“The basements of 37 homes and local businesses have been flooded with water up to 3 metres deep and our crews are working really hard to pump out the water and minimise the damage.  

“The pub nearby had around 60,000 litres of water in the basement alone and is being drained by our high volume pump.

“At the same time we sprayed the roads to get rid of the mud so roads can reopen and people can get on with their business.

“People are reasonably upbeat about the disruption. Many residents were able to leave their properties by the back entrances to get to work.

“Dulwich Road and Norwood Road have re-opened and we hope to have all roads, except Half Moon Lane which was worst affected, re-opened for rush hour.

The Brigade expects to be at the scene for several hours.

The Brigade was called at 0459 and the incident was over at 1309.