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The Bell Inn forced to close after burst water pipe in Ware Street, Bearsted

A Maidstone pub lost nearly two days of trade after being forced to close by a water pipe which burst twice in 24 hours.

The 10-inch cast iron water main in Ware Street, Bearsted ruptured on Sunday morning, leaving an estimated 2,000 homes and businesses without a clean supply.

When running taps in their homes, many people were faced with a brown liquid and sludge and bottled water was given out to those who needed it in the immediate area.

South East Water said most of the disruption was dealt with later that day, but at 1.30am on Monday, the pipe burst again, meaning The Bell Inn was unable to serve customers.

Landlord Nigel Williams said trade had been lost by closing on Sunday, his busiest day of the week, and for large periods of Monday before finally being able to reopen in the afternoon.

He was informed by workmen at the scene that the road may be closed for a few days to repair the pipe but this is yet to be confirmed by South East Water.

Meanwhile, those living on and around Averenches Road were woken up at 5am when work began in order to fix the problem.

The Bell Inn was closed on Sunday (13836059)
The Bell Inn was closed on Sunday (13836059)

One of those affected by the muddy water supply was Colin Tucker, who lives on Ware Street, where the incident took place.

He said: "We looked out the window on Sunday and there was a lake running down the hill.

"We got it back on around four o'clock in the afternoon but when my wife got up this morning there was no water supply again.

"Luckily there was just about enough hot water for a shower.

"It will be a couple of days before I'm drinking that water. "

Work is ongoing to fix a burst water main in Ware Street, Bearsted (13829915)
Work is ongoing to fix a burst water main in Ware Street, Bearsted (13829915)

South East Water’s Incident Manager Jim MacIntyre said: “Unfortunately, bursts do happen on our 9,000 mile, underground network as its under high pressure, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. When bursts do happen, restoring water supplies when there has been a burst water main is our main priority and we work hard to make sure customers have their water back as soon as possible.

"If the repair takes more than twelve hours, or in the case of a strategic main within 48 hours, we will make a payment of £20 for domestic customers (£50 for commercial) plus a further £10 (£25) for each 24 hour period that the supply remains unrestored.”

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