FIVE thousand residents could have their water cut off if major works are carried out to repair a leak in a road.

For the past five weeks, people have complained to Thames Water about the water leak at the corner of Downham Way and Shroffold Road.

And in a letter to ward councillor Mark Morris, Lewisham Council's executive director for regeneration Malcolm Smith has warned at least 5,000 residents could be cut off from the mains supply while repairs are carried out.

Thames Water has told News Shopper it is carrying out a risk assessment and looking at ways to prevent shutting off the mains and hopes to re-route the supply from another part of the network.

But residents and passers-by are increasingly concerned.

Downham Community Centre manager Cliff Shirley, 54, said: "It has been at least five weeks and hundreds of gallons of water has been escaping.

"It's ridiculous this amount of water is pumping out here when we are told to conserve water. Thames Water needs to get its own house in order."

A spokesman for the company said: "We are carrying out a risk assessment for the repair to this leak with the aim of preventing loss of supply to residents while the affected section is taken out of service.

"We are looking to see if we can re-zone the area by transferring water into it from another area.

"We will give notice to residents and are doing everything we can to prevent any interruptions to their supply."

Resident Terri Foulis, 81, of Shroffold Road, Downham, said: "This water is becoming a hazard for young and old people.

"This risk assessment really is well overdue.

"We need to have some sort of warning from Thames Water.

"I want to know if I need to get my saucepans and kettles out at the ready.

"We have to be told when the water will be cut off so we can make arrangements and what assessments they have made."

The risk assessment is due to be completed this week.