Extreme temperatures cause water chaos across UK

A man walks along the snow covered B818 Denny to Fintry Road

Residents of some parts of London and the South East said they had been without water for more than 24 hours by Sunday night, with little indication of when supplies would return.

"We're sorry to all those customers who are without water".

Some schools in the area warned they may have to close as a result of the disruption.

Essex & Suffolk Water is encouraging customers to keep an eye out for bursts pipes and leaks across the region.

Thames water also asked its customers to cut usage until leaks could be fixed and pipes were refilled.

Severn Trent said it had seen almost a 4,000% increase in reports of burst pipes, while various water companies have set up bottled water distribution points to provide clean drinking water to those impacted by the issues.

Ian Limb of Portsmouth Water said: 'Bursts have always been a risk when there are sudden rises in temperature which causes ground movements regardless whether they are plastic or cast iron pipes.

5000 households granted by Southern Water suffered from water issues in nearby Kent.

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Donna Wright was among those who queued for water in Streatham, telling Sky News: "No one's got any water and I've gone and coloured my hair and I can't rinse it out".

In Hampstead, people without water can collect bottles from the No 1 Pond Car Park, on East Heath Road, NW3 2RJ.

"You don't realise until something like this happens how much you actually need it".

Meanwhile, the RAF has been called in to deliver emergency supplies to parts of Cumbria that have been cut off by the extreme weather.

The suppliers have effectively told up to 13million people across London and the South of England to curb their use of water or risk having none at all.

More than 20,000 homes were left with no running water at the weekend after the deep freeze and thaw.

'This preparation helped us reduce the time customers had either no water or reduced pressure. If they see a leak they can report it to us on our interactive map https://inyourarea.digdat.co.uk/southeastwater where they will also find updates on supply issues in their area.

Industry regulator Ofwat has criticised water companies for failing to plan for colder weather and ignoring warnings.


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