Kent homes without water after pipes burst

PA    
   CONCERN The charity was swamped with worried calls from friends and neighbours

The issue has been caused by the extreme weather over the past few days and the subsequent thaw which has put extreme pressure on the complex underground system of 9,000 miles of pipes which takes drinking water from treatment works into homes.

Both Lenham Primary School and the Lenham School announced that they have been struck by a water shortage and will not be open to pupils today. "We apologise, once again, for the disruption".

Thames Water advised its 15 million customers to only use water where essential.

The companies said demand for water is exceptionally high due to multiple burst pipes and an increase in leaks following the recent freezing temperatures and rapid thaw.

"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.

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A supplier of water to 4.3 million homes and businesses in the middle of England, said the number of burst pipes was up 4000 percent, while in Wales, Welsh Water said between 3000 and 6000 homes were being affected.

At a supermarket in Balham, south London, Thames Water employees distributed crates of bottled water to a waiting queue of people, while in Hampstead to the north of the capital, they ferried crates to residential streets in their own cars. This will make a real difference.

"Right now we really need our customers' support and understanding to help us to get everyone back into supply quickly by avoiding non-essential uses of water, having a shower instead of a bath for example, for the time being".

'We are now managing our resources but would ask that customers look continue to be vigilant to look for leaks'.

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