Homes in Herne Hill and East Dulwich have been left without water for days as the freezing weather burst pipes across London.
Thames Water said it was having to pump an extra 500 million litres of water – the equivalent of 200 Olympic swimming pools – through its network to meet demand, and was handing out free water bottles.
Steven Govier, from Dulwich Estate, told the News he had been without water since March, 3 and had spent more than three hours on hold trying to report the issue before receiving an email response after 11pm on Sunday.
Dulwich and West Norwood MP, Helen Hayes, said: “My constituents have been affected by Thames Water leaks or bursts every single week this winter, so the likelihood of a major problem could have been predicted and robust plans should have been in place.
“It is completely unacceptable that, faced with no water supply, residents and businesses have been unable to contact Thames Water by phone or via their website, and that the distribution of bottled water has been delayed, patchy and disorganised.
“It is now essential that compensation is paid to all households who have been without water, and that government reforms the water industry to make it fit for purpose.”
Thames Water said that by Tuesday evening less than 1,000 people were affected.
Chief executive Steve Robertson, said: “We are pleased to have made good progress with restoring supplies today, but very sorry that some of our customers are still without water or have low pressure, in some cases after several days.
“We are in no doubt about how distressing and inconvenient this is for everyone affected.
“We remain really grateful to our customers who have water for continuing to help out by using as little as possible and for their general understanding.”