The landlords of an apartment block in Lewisham have apologised to tenants there after a series of failures left them without water for over 24 hours.

Residents at Equana Apartments on Evelyn Street in Deptford were left needing to source water from park toilet over the weekend of Saturday, September 19-Sunday September 20 after several key water pumps in their building failed and were not fixed for over 24 hours.

Equana Apartments is owned by L and Q group and is a mix of private rented accommodation and social housing, with a number of key workers and vulnerable people living on site.

After several water pumps in the building failed around 1pm on Saturday (September 19), L and Q sent out engineers to examine the pumps.

News Shopper: 68 Equana Apartments in Lewisham, where residents were left without water. 68 Equana Apartments in Lewisham, where residents were left without water.

However, due to a number of reported technical issues they were unable to fix the pumps immediately, leaving residents without water and in no small amount of trouble.

Tasha, one of the people who live their, told News Shopper what happened next:

"I phoned (L and Q) around 9am on Sunday morning. The first person I spoke with told me they would come later that day, they couldn't give a time even after I told them we have vulnerable people here.

"Another person I later spoke with then told me it couldn't be fixed at the weekend because they didn't have access to the spare parts even though we were without water and it was an emergency."

"So I contacted our local councillors who put me in touch with Paul Bell (Cabinet Member for Housing and Planningon Lewisham Council.

"He phoned them and within half an hour the engineer was back. So after 26 hours with no water, then it came back on."

Tasha added that she believed "we only got that result because of the intervention of the council."

She meanwhile described how difficult it had been to cope in the midst of a pandemic, without running water:

"We have vulnerable people, we have babies living here. We couldn't wash our hands during these times, but just from us calling they told us they were not coming.

"It was very difficult to eat, cook or feed them properly without water. Most people here don't have cars and can't carry enough water for their family.

"We got in touch with the park keeper at Deptford Park, where there is a toilet, and after speaking with him we went out with a bucket and filled buckets," she said.

Responding to a request from News Shopper, L and Q apologised and said they had fixed the problem and had treated the problem as an "emergency":

"We apologise that our residents at Equana Apartments were left without water for a period.

"Our contractor received a report that there was a problem with the water supply at 2.50pm on Saturday, September 19th, and attended two hours later...our contractors investigated and found a new part was needed. They got hold of this part and repaired the pump the following day (Sunday, September 20th).

"We always treat all water failures as an emergency...We always aim to attend reports of water failures within four hours and fix any issues as soon as possible, which we are pleased to say we did in this case," a spokesperson said.

Ward Councillor Silvana Kelleher was one of the council members Tasha and the residents reached out to that weekend.

She said that Councillor Bell and herself had "simply done our job" during the emergency:

"When the tenants came to us saying that they had to buy water until the engineer came out, both of us found that unacceptable.

"We both contacted people higher up at L and Q and it was fixed within two hours of that...I asked them why they were telling vulnerable people with young children to go around hefting bottles of water," she said.

"The law says you need to do better so make it right please. And it was done. That's what matters, the families were taken care of."