Main Pipe Burst Caused Water Shortage for Over 31000 Properties in East Sussex

Southern Water faced criticism over the weekend for its handling of a major mains pipe burst, resulting in 31,000 properties in Hastings and St Leonards being left without water.

Following the disruption, extensive traffic delays were leading to only four bottled water stations. Businesses are bracing for significant financial losses, with expected compensation claims against the company.

Local businesses were gearing up for the annual Jack in the Green festival, a major event over the bank holiday weekend drawing thousands of visitors to Hastings. Additionally, the “May Day run” event, attracting thousands of motorbikes and scooters to the seafront, was also anticipated.

The impact extended to cultural institutions, with the White Rock Theatre and Hastings Museum and Art Gallery forced to close due to the water shortage. Reports emerged of a hotel resorting to using seawater to flush toilets.

The company emphasized its efforts to supply water to over 6,000 vulnerable customers registered for priority service.

Southern Water spokesperson Tim McMahon described the burst as occurring in an exceedingly challenging location, necessitating the felling of 50 trees to access the site.

However, challenges persisted for affected residents. Lesley Arshad, a disabled resident of St Leonards-on-Sea, expressed frustration after being omitted from the water company’s priority list, despite previous confirmation of her inclusion.

Responding to concerns, Southern Water stated it was in contact with Arshad and committed to delivering water to her on Saturday. The company emphasized its efforts to supply water to over 6,000 vulnerable customers registered for priority service.

The burst pipe, located in an isolated woodland named Keeper’s Wood near Hastings, disrupted supplies to St Leonards and certain areas of Hastings. (Credits: PANewsAgency)

Local officials voiced apprehension about the situation’s economic impact, especially if the issue persisted beyond the weekend.

Southern Water acknowledged delays in replenishing some distribution points due to traffic congestion but assured residents that efforts were underway to address the situation.

Residents affected by the water cut-off shared stories of adapting to the situation, with community solidarity playing a crucial role in assisting vulnerable individuals.

While repair work on the burst pipe was completed, Southern Water cautioned that restoring supplies would take time, signaling potential disruptions throughout the weekend.

The organizers of the Jack in the Green event acknowledged the possibility of event disruptions due to the water shortage, urging attendees to remain flexible.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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