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Water restored to Sittingbourne residents after Southern Water pipe burst


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Water has been restored to residents after a burst pipe left some unable to use taps for 20 hours.

Hundreds of households in Sittingbourne were left without a running water supply after the pipe burst at around 2am on Saturday.

Some residents were left without water for 20 hours after a pipe burst in Sittingbourne. Stock picture
Some residents were left without water for 20 hours after a pipe burst in Sittingbourne. Stock picture

Southern Water said yesterday afternoon that it had re-routed another pipe, meaning the issue should have been resolved in "most homes".

But it delivered bottles of water to some elderly and vulnerable residents who were still without a supply.

However, at about 7pm yesterday Swale borough councillor Mike Whiting said a large number of households in the affected area still had no water more than 16 hours after the supply was lost.

He said: "It is totally unacceptable that in this day and age we can be in a situation where we don't have water in homes.

"Many of my neighbours are elderly, and the ones next to me have a young baby – the four litres or so of water that have been given to some are not enough, and others have not even got that."

Cllr Mike Whiting described the situation as 'completely unacceptable'. Photo: SBC
Cllr Mike Whiting described the situation as 'completely unacceptable'. Photo: SBC

At about 8pm yesterday, Southern Water tweeted to say the burst pipe - which is thought to supply water to around 2,000 properties in three postcodes - had been fixed and water supply had at last been restored.

The firm wrote: "Repairs to the main in Sittingbourne were completed earlier and we are recharging the network. This has to be done gradually to prevent further bursts.

"Supplies are returning and we thank customers for their patience. We're sorry for the disruption this emergency has caused."

But hours later, angry residents were still reporting to be without water.

At about 9pm, one Twitter user named Peter Power wrote: "This is ridiculous now.

"Was told we were a priority several hours ago as we have a young baby and need water to clean bottles.

"I have had to spend over £60 today on bottles, ready made formula and takeaway food because we can't wash up.

"We have also had waste in our toilet all morning which we can't flush and haven't been able to use the toilet since. Eighteen hours now.

"I appreciate that these things happen, but this is a joke."

At 10pm, Michelle H wrote: "This is ridiculous and absolutely bloody disgusting.

"Currently stands at 15hrs without water.

Southern Water delivered bottled water to affected households
Southern Water delivered bottled water to affected households

"No showers, no water for washing up, cleaning teeth, flushing toilets, taking medicines. Sort it out."

Another user named Petar Rapo added: "It is now 10.20pm and still no water, not good enough!"

When contacted by KentOnline this morning, Southern Water said the supply has now been restored at all homes.

A spokesman explained the process of restoring water to supply to such a large area "has to be done gently and with care", adding: "We're very sorry for the disruption this caused."

The spokesman said: "By now, everything will be fine.

"If anyone is experiencing occasional sputtering, if they open the taps that will remove any airlocks within their own home system.

"If your supply's returned after a long period occasionally it comes out a little bit discoloured. If you run the tap for a couple of minutes, it clears."

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