People queue for water in village without supply for more than 36 hours

A community has been forced to queue for water in sweltering temperatures after a burst pipe left their village dry.

Hundreds of people living in South Wootton, North Wootton and Castle Rising in west Norfolk have been without water or suffering from very low water pressure for more than 36-hours.

The problems started when a water main burst at around 1pm on Saturday, just as temperatures hit 30°C.

Images from South Wootton showed hundreds of people queueing up to get drinking water from a bottle bank yesterday amid welfare concerns for those more susceptible to the heat.

Anglian Water, which supplies water to the east of England, said engineers were working to fix the fault but as of this morning people were still without water.

In a statement issued on its website, the water company apologised for the fault and said it knew being without water in the hot weather was ‘worrying’.

‘We have moved water from the other parts of our network to help restore supplies and supplement this with the use of tankers, but it’s taking time for the water to move around the network meaning the water supply will be intermittent.

‘Our engineers are currently replacing the broken pipe and hope to have a full repair in place and everything back to normal by 1pm.’

The problems in Norfolk come as other water companies around the country have urged people to be careful with water and only use what is absolutely necessary.

Bristol Water has warned customers they may notice a drop in water pressure during peak times and that their drinking water may taste slightly different to normal.

In a statement, the company said: ‘We’re asking you to be mindful, we’re working hard in the background to try and keep everyone in water during periods of high demand.

‘During times like these we often make changes within our network of pipes.

‘We might temporarily redirect your water supply so that it comes from a different treatment works or reservoir than usual. 

‘This may mean you notice your water tastes a little bit different to normal – don’t worry though, this will return to normal as temperatures start to cool down again.’

Affinity Water which supplies Hertfordshire, Essex, Surrey and Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and London, has also warned people they may experience low water pressure during peak times.

‘Because of the hot weather, many of us are using much more water. This means you may notice lower pressure or no water when demand is higher in your area.’

The warnings come after water companies urged people to ration how much they use in light of the heatwave.

The water demand reduction manager for Thames Water Andrew Tucker has urged customers to use water carefully, saying the heatwave had led to demand being ‘at near record level’.

He said that Thames Water is not currently considering any water restrictions, but that could change if there is little rainfall in the coming months.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme, he said: ‘We know exactly how much water we’ve got in the system, and that’s both in our rivers, the aquifers underground or groundwater aquifers, but also how much we have in our reservoirs.

‘We balance that with how much demand we’re seeing from homes and businesses but at the moment that demand is at near record level, as we were expecting.”

He added: ‘We’re not expecting to need to introduce restrictions on water at the moment. But we know how much water we’ve got, and with people using more at the moment, we are getting through it faster than we would like.

‘If we don’t receive rainfall in the coming months that situation may change but we’re staying on top of it every single day.’

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