A burst water main near Asterby, and our Flint Hill water tower, left many homes in the Wolds without water, or with only low pressure, last week. The damaged section of water pipe was directly under the River Bain, which made finding the problem more challenging. It also meant that repairing it was a significant engineering challenge.
I am very sorry for this prolonged interruption to customers’ water supplies.
I am also grateful for the community’s positive outlook during what must have been a testing time.
I spoke to many customers while helping to give out bottled water and found them to be incredibly understanding. There was a real community spirit, with people helping their neighbours and those less able.
They also had supportive messages for the 220 staff, who were working around the clock to put things right and make sure alternative supplies were available.
During the incident we had 10 large capacity tankers filling the local water tower, feeding drinking water directly, and supplying water in bulk to livestock farmers.
Additionally, we installed four overground pipes to reroute water around the damaged section of pipe, and delivered more than 115 tonnes of bottled water to the area, giving out nearly 30,000 litres to customers, including hand delivering to vulnerable customers.
To complete the repair we drilled under the river bed to install a new pipe, and we laid a second ‘back-up’ pipe at the same time. This means we can restore water supplies much more quickly in the unlikely event something like this happens again.
Since writing to everyone, we’ve thanked the village halls, pubs and businesses that allowed us to distribute bottled water from their premises, or supported us in other ways. And we are talking to the local school to arrange for the Anglian Water Education Team to come and visit children with one of our popular water-themed classroom activities.
You may notice there are still Anglian Water vans and staff in the area. We are in the final stages of sweeping the network looking for small leaks. This is standard process after an outage like this and ensures we’ve thoroughly checked all of the network before leaving site.
We will review what happened and review our response. We’re always looking to improve and we will learn every lesson that we can from the experience, and while we can never promise that bursts and leaks won’t happen in the future, we will do all we can to minimise the chance of something like this happening again.
Director of Water Services Anglian Water