The burst, which was first spotted at 6.30am, was not fixed until 1pm as a torrent of water continued to flow down Old London Road as far as the Old Town.
It saw a geyser of water erupting from the hole, dug by the water company, which has been causing long delays, with traffic lights in place at the busy four way junction on the main A259.
A local resident who witnessed the burst said: “Ironically there was a Southern Water sign at the roadworks which said: ‘Keeping water flowing for you’. It was certainly flowing on Saturday morning.”
A Southern Water spokesperson said: “Our teams repaired a burst water main at Old London Road, Hastings on Saturday afternoon. We recognise this caused disruption to our customers in the area and we’re sorry for the impact this had.”
Alan Love, who decided to use the hole to embark on an impromptu fishing trip, said: “Thousands of gallons of drinking water have been wasted everyday for the past month. This has also created chaos for four way traffic at the top of Old London Road.”
Hastings resident Marian Ridley said: “I walk past the roadworks nearly every day. They have been there for weeks and I have never seen anyone actually doing any work there. It has been a nightmare for drivers with traffic tail-backs all the way through Ore village at times.”
A number of residents in the Old Town area reported discoloured tap water on Saturday.
Old Town resident Janie Watson said: “Apparently Southern water were aware and told one resident not to drink the water as it could make them sick. It’s a disgrace. There are many of us on priority services, the over 60’s and vulnerable, who are supposed to be notified by text when there are problems. I went on the Southern Water website and there was no mention of it. I tried to instigate an online chat to report it but was told to get back during office hours.”
A Southern Water spokesperson said: “We believe this was as a result of repairing the burst water main. We take water quality very seriously and have very stringent quality standards enforced by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.
“We understand concerns about discolouration but it is not unusual especially after a large burst like the one at Old London Road, due to sediment being dislodged and there can be other reasons for this too. Normally it will clear if taps are run for a few minutes. Customers can contact us on 0330 303 0368 to report any concerns.”
Video by Louise Hersee.
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