Water bottles handed out on Isle of Sheppey as water pressure fails amid heatwave

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Southern Water warned homes and businesses to expect low water pressure or no supply at all  (Southern Water)
Southern Water warned homes and businesses to expect low water pressure or no supply at all (Southern Water)

Water is being distributed on the Isle of Sheppey after a burst water main left parts of the island cut off – as temperatures reached 30C.

Southern Water warned homes and businesses to expect low water pressure or no supply at all and set up emergency collection points for bottled water around the island. A school on the island has also been closed.

A Southern Water spokesman told KentOnline the main burst on the primary pipeline carrying water from the mainland to the island.

"Our teams are working as quickly as possible to solve this issue," they said. "We can’t specify numbers of homes at this time due to some experiencing a loss of pressure and others a loss of supply.

"Due to the nature of the network and how water pressure reacts around the network, it is impossible to give an accurate figure.

"The total number of properties served by the two storage reservoirs involved is approximately 24,000. However, we believe nowhere near this number has lost supply.”

The spokesperson added: "Last night we undertook some repair work on the primary water main which carries water to storage reservoirs on the island.

"The work required us to temporarily pause the water flow. During that process, further issues were identified, that have not yet been resolved.

"Due to the hot weather, there has also been exceptionally high demand so water storage levels are lower than normal. This has resulted in reservoir levels being depleted."

Southern Water’s Simon Fluendy, helping to coordinate efforts at the centre, said: “We are very sorry about this. The main pipe taking water to Sheppey from the mainland burst at the weekend and was repaired but it has burst again.

“We are working it as quickly as possible and have brought in a special team of experts from Newcastle to help."

Ministers are reportedly drawing up plans for an emergency response to the heatwave currently gripping the country, as the Met Office has extended the amber heat warning until Monday.

The Daily Telegraph reported that a Cobra meeting was held at Downing Street about the soaring temperatures in the UK and the possible danger to life if temperatures hit 40C.

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