Big thaw leaves thousands without water in parts of UK

Big thaw leaves thousands without water in parts of UK
From BBC - March 5, 2018

Homes across the UK are facing water supply problems - with thousands of people in Wales and south-east England urged to use as little as possible.

Water suppliers say a weather thaw has led to burst water mains and leaks.

About 5,000 homes are without water in Kent, thousands of properties are affected in Wales, while about 12,000 homes in London lost water overnight.

In south-east England, water firms have been identifying vulnerable customers and providing them with bottled water.

Parts of the Midlands and Scotland are also affected by intermittent supply.

Increased demand on Monday morning has put pressure on many water networks, with suppliers warning of poor water pressure and intermittent supplies as they try to refill pipes.

At its peak, more than 20,000 homes in London were left without water on Sunday.

Several schools in the capital and some in Kent have said they will be closed on Monday because they cannot guarantee running water.

Southern Water said it was working to restore supplies to up to 5,000 homes in Sittingbourne, Kent, urging customers to "only use the water you absolutely must".

The supplier, which serves Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said it was working with councils and emergency services to "make sure we are identifying vulnerable customers" affected by shortages.

'Extreme pressure'

Welsh Water said between 3,000 and 6,000 customers were without water on Monday morning, saying it was dealing with 200 leaks, adding: "It's been a really challenging 72 hours for us".

Severn Trent apologised to customers in parts of north Derbyshire with little or no supply - but said it had restored water supplies to households in Birmingham, north Nottingham and Rugby and Southam, Warwickshire, on Sunday night.

South East Water said the cold snap and subsequent thaw had put "extreme pressure" on its network and has set up a number of bottled water stations in Sussex and Kent.

Wessex Water, Yorkshire Water and South West Water all said they were dealing with problems.

Welsh Water said its team had been working through Sunday night to fix bursts and detect leaks, adding: "These problems are likely to continue over the next few days".

Parts of the UK are still recovering from the effects of Storm Emma, with more than 100 schools in Wales still shut due to snow or icy conditions.


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