There are calls for urgent action to mend an “elusive” leak which has flooded a pavement with dirty water and driven shoppers away.

A section of High Road, Woodford Green, is sporadically flooded with a mix of rainwater and sewage, with Thames Water struggling to locate the source of the problem.

Owner of Whistle ‘n’ Flute dry cleaners, Cert Halil, said trade has been badly affected.

He added: “It is a real mess outside the shop with sewage mixing with water and it is real issue.
“I am losing customers because of this, and it needs to get sorted out.

“Customers don't want to have to wade through water to get to the shop.

“I pay up to £1,000 of business rates each month so I am very unhappy that this is going on.

“It has been three months now, we just need it fixed.”

Andy Wittrick, owner Wood Flooring, says the leak has forced him to change the way the business operates.

He said: "The front of the shop is soaked.

“We used to put some of our products outside the shop but we can't now."

Ron Wortley-Millek, of Forest Approach, Woodford Green, raised the issue at an Area Two Committee meeting on Tuesday.

He said: “In my opinion Thames Water have washed their hands of us.

“When it rains the street floods. The sewer points need to be sorted out and the drains need to be cleaned.”

In response, Conservative Cllr James O’Shea said Redbridge Council was working with Thames Water to get the problem solved, but was unable to explain why it was taking so long.

Thames Water confirmed it has visited the site twice since the problem was reported.

A spokeswoman said: “Our teams are working in and around High Road trying to pinpoint the source of a leak on one of our clean water pipes.

"We’re really sorry for the time it has taken us to sort this out and for any disruption to residents. We’re working as fast as we can to find this elusive leak, get it fixed, and get the road back to normal.”