London

Crystal Palace burst pipes leave surgery patient without fresh water

Elizabeth Ludford Image copyright Marianna Ludstrop
Image caption Elizabeth Ludford, 14, is recovering from two operations to help treat her scoliosis

A teenager recovering from spinal surgery has been left without fresh water to clean her wounds for 24 hours because of a burst water main.

About 100 properties in Crystal Palace, south London, have been affected after freezing temperatures caused two pipes to burst, according to Thames Water.

"I need to keep my scars clean to avoid infection, but without water I can't do that," Elizabeth Ludford, 14, said.

Thames Water said it was "working hard to resolve" the issues.

A spokesperson said: "Our teams have been out in all conditions around the clock to reduce the impact."

Image copyright @notsobadlizzie
Image caption Thames Water said recent extreme weather had caused two water mains to burst in Crystal Palace

In January, Ms Ludford had two rounds of surgery to treat scoliosis, a condition that causes a curvature of the spine.

"It will take up to a year to fully recover," she told the BBC.

Elizabeth's mother, Marianna Ludford, has a disability, so the family have been relying on her 17-year-old brother to walk to the shops to buy bottled water.

Mrs Ludford told the BBC she had tried to contact Thames Water but gave up after being on hold for nearly an hour.

Thames Water's advice line has received five times the normal amount of customer queries during the severe weather, a spokesman said.

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