Homes are left high and dry as main bursts

20/3/13- Burst water-main near Staplecross.  Water collection point at Jempsons, Peasemarsh
20/3/13- Burst water-main near Staplecross. Water collection point at Jempsons, Peasemarsh

HUNDREDS of homes were left without water and a primary school was forced to close following a mains burst at Northiam on Wednesday morning.

The water main on the B2165 near, Northiam, caused water supply problems to properties in the Clayhill, Beckley, Four Oaks, Peasmarsh, Rye Foreign and Playden areas.

The burst on the 9-inch diameter strategic water main occurred at approximately 1am .

Homes were left without water or with very low pressure.

Beckley Primary School was forced to close, yet Northiam primary, which was actually nearer the leak, remained unaffected.

South East Water sprang into action and within hours had supplied free bottled water to drop off points at Beckley Village Centre and outside Jempsons supermarket at Peasmarsh.

At first 800 homes were reported as being affected, but this figure rose to 1,600 as the morning wore on.

South East Water technicians managed to restore the water to most properties by 1pm, though others had to wait until late afternoon due to the length of the water main and the time it took water to work through the network.

Simon Robertson, Head of Distribution for South East Water, said: “The burst occurred at approximately 1am and our technician was immediately sent to investigate.

“Repair gangs were sent to the site and worked as quickly as possible.

We organised bottled water to be dropped off at several locations in the area for customers affected to collect and use while repairs continued.

“I would like to apologise to the customers affected for the inconvenience this caused .”

Dominic Plomer Roberts, from Jempsons, said: “We were happy to help and had a steady stream of residents coming all morning to collect their water.

“We were also able to assist the driver and provide him with coffee.”