Air pipes

Water supply returns to Isle of Sheppey after two pipes burst

Residents of the Isle of Sheppey can expect their water supply to return on Thursday after burst pipes left thousands without water in the hottest week of the year.

Two main pipes to the island off the Kent coast burst on Tuesday, affecting 24,000 homes and closing 12 schools.

Bottled water points were set up by Southern Water and tankers were brought in to supply Sheppey Community Hospital.

Southern Water released a statement on Thursday morning saying the supply should return by noon – although residents were told to expect cloudy water and low pressure.

A spokesperson said: ‘We are pleased to confirm that customers on the Isle of Sheppey should now see their water supply return. This will happen gradually over the course of the morning depending on where you are and what reservoir you are supplying.

“Demand is obviously extremely high, so customers will continue to see low pressure as the situation returns to normal.

“Discolored water from your taps is normal after a supply interruption. This is usually temporary and goes away once the network settles down.

“If the water is cloudy and white, try leaving it in a glass for a few minutes to see if it clears up. It will be air trapped in the water when the pipes are filled.

“If the water is brown or black in color, run your faucet for a few minutes and it should clear up. If that doesn’t work, turn off the faucet, wait 20 minutes, and try again.

“It’s good to use your water as usual when your water is clear. When your tap water is discolored brown or black, avoid running hot water faucets or using dishwashers, washing machines, or any other appliance that uses water. It’s OK to empty the toilet.

“Sometimes after a system has been drained, air pockets can form either in our pipes or those of our customers – running taps for a short time can help get water through.”

Bottled water stations will remain open throughout Thursday.