Households across East Sussex are forced to queue for bottled water as they face SEVENTH day of supply misery – with Southern Water apologising for blunder
Families across East Sussex are being forced to queue for bottled water as they face a seventh day of shortages.
Supplies have been disrupted for several towns in East Sussex including Rye, Camber, Winchelsea and Point Hill.
Today, photos showed people in Rye picking up large crates of bottled water from a car park after Southern Water brought in emergency supplies.
Helena Dollimore, Labour MP candidate for Hastings and Rye, accused the company of failing local people.
‘Southern Water’s treatment of residents in Rye and the surrounding area is more akin to 1823 than 2023,’ she told Sussex World.
Water bottle collection bots have been set up across East Sussex – including in Rye
Southern Water staff handed out gallons of water to families after supplies were disrupted for a seventh day
A woman walks her dog out of a water bottle collection point in Rye, East Sussex, after supplies were disrupted across the area
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‘I have spoken to one woman in Rye this morning with an eight-week-old baby at home, who has been promised deliveries that do not arrive.
‘There are many cases like this. Of the 35 residents who contacted me this morning, 97 per cent had received no water delivery and were still without.
‘Local pubs have been forced to close and businesses tell me they have lost thousands of pounds due to the disruption so far.
‘This is a water crisis and Southern Water need to get their act together and urgently get water stations set up water stations in every area, get the water supply back on and then look at compensation for affected residents and businesses.’
Southern Water previously said the problems were caused by a leak in the Winchelsea Beach area last Friday.
‘On Friday, September 22 we identified an unknown leak in the area of our Udimore reservoir that feeds Camber and Rye, to the east of Hastings,’ a statement read.
‘This area is rural so locating the leak has been incredibly complicated. After an extensive search we found a burst on the afternoon of Sunday, September 24, off Udimore Reservoir.
‘In searching for the leak, we isolated some zones for a period of hours and re-established pressure and so some customers would have experienced low or no pressure for a number of hours, over the weekend, due to the investigation.’
Today, the company confirmed that residents in Winchelsea, Camber, Point Hill and Rye were still facing issues with their water supply.
A statement continued: ‘Thanks to the work last night, customers in Winchelsea and Rye should have a more stable supply this morning.
‘We’re sorry to report, customers in Camber are still without water or have low pressure this morning. This is due to issues with our tankering operation. We expect this to be resolved by midday.
‘Additionally, customers in Point Hill currently have no water. We’re undertaking investigations into why this is, and we expect this to be resolved by midday.
‘Two bottled water stations at the following locations have now reopened this morning.
‘We are continuing to deliver bottled water to all residents in affected areas who have no water.
‘We’re sorry for the continued disruption and distress this is causing, we will provide a further update about this before 12noon.’
Southern, which has been ordered to pay back nearly £43million to customers by regulator Ofwat for poor performance, has been contacted for further comment.
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