"Unprecedented" number of burst pipes causes a surge in demand for water

Mar 06, 2018, 01:28

The company said it was dealing with burst water pipes across the South East, with the highest concentration in the Sittingbourne area.

"When water freezes within a pipe it expands, putting more pressure on the pipes and joints, often causing pipes to split or joints to pull apart, and then when it thaws the water will start to leak out". Meanwhile, homeowners across the United Kingdom are being urged to reduce their water usage, following concerns that widespread leaks could create a national water shortage.

"We are continuing to ask customers who do have water to help reduce demand by only using water for essential tasks".

About 13,000 homes supplied by South East Water are affected across Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Berkshire, the company said. Not all areas are affected equally, but significant numbers of customers are now without water or have low pressure.

People are urged to have short showers rather than baths, not to leave taps running and to only use dishwashers and washing machines if they're full.

The company said it was providing bottled water to Wadhurst, Rotherfield, Crowborough, although for a time there was none in Lenham after earlier supplies ran out.

"We will be replenishing the bottled water stations already set up as quickly as we can this morning and we will be opening more as soon as possible", she added. This will make a real difference.

Seven Trent said it has restored supplies after an "unprecedented number of leaks" from pipes left parts of Rugby with low water pressure or no water at all - but it might not be over yet.

Customers have also been asked to check their pipes for leaks and bursts and to call a plumber if necessary.