Mains burst leaves thousands 'dry'

Thousands of homes across Yarmouth were left without water following a burst main.

Thousands of homes across Yarmouth were left without water today following a burst main.

More than 200 people across the Belton and Burgh Castle areas of Yarmouth called Essex and Suffolk Water at 7.30am to report they had no running water, or extremely low water pressure.

But despite engineers being immediately dispatched to the 8inch burst main in Bracon Road, Belton, work was unable to begin until late into the afternoon due to the water being in contact with the electricity supply from a street lamp.

It was not until 3.30pm that EDF Energy arrived to disconnect the power supply to the lamp.

In the meantime, Essex and Suffolk water staff handed out bottles of water to those without a supply.

A spokeswoman for Essex and Suffolk Water said: “We were first alerted to the burst main at 7.30am after a number of calls from our customers in Belton and Burgh Castle reporting they did not have a water supply or had reduced pressure.

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“The burst main was in close proximity to a street lamp, so we have to make the street lamp safe before we could repair the main.

“Our engineers contacted Norfolk County Council at 10am, because they are responsible for street lamps, and it was in their hands after that.

“In the meantime we rezoned the water supply so the majority of people had their water supply back by midday. We have also been giving out bottled water to people.

“At 3.30pm EDF cut off the electricity supply we are started work, so we are hoping the full supply will be resumed in the morning.”

She confirmed that the loss of water had affected most of the homes in the Burgh Castle and Belton areas, but said only a few streets had been left without water following the redirection of supplies.

A spokeswoman for EDF Energy said: “We were alerted to the situation at 2.09pm and we had an engineer on site within an hour and a half.

“We disconnected the power supply to the lamp, and once the main is fixed we will go ahead and reconnect the supply.”

Norfolk County Council was unavailable for comment.