Homes have been flooded with filthy water up to a foot deep and a main road in London blocked after a water main burst last night.
Problems have continued into the morning, causing major delays on the roads in south London during the morning rush hour.
Initial reports yesterday evening suggested that a sewage pipe had leak, causing a torrent of excrement to fill Clapham Road and the surrounding homes in Kennington, south London.
A policeman on the scene described it as “stinky sewage” that had filled people’s basements.
A Thames Water spokesman however later said the flood was a result of a burst main, with the water then mixing with silt and mud.
One resident, Angela Reynolds, 58, said: “The road has been made into a river. It's a bit like Somerset.
“It's not clear how they are going to stop it. The water is revolting, brown, muddy - well I hope it's mud. The water just flooded the road in 10 minutes. It was quite incredible.”
A London Fire Brigade spokesman said: “We received a call reporting flooding in the area. Four fire engines are on the scene and Thames Water are on the way to try and fix the problem. It is very much an ongoing incident.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “There is flooding on Clapham Road between Oval and Stockwell stations, which has been caused by a suspected burst water pipe.”
“We are asking people to avoid the area.”
Several fire engines, police cars and an ambulance attended the scene near Oval Tube station, while a London Underground Emergency Response Unit were also deployed.
A Transport for London spokesman said part of Clapham Road was closed but the Tube was not affected.