Burst pipe chaos

A22 burst water main
A22 burst water main
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Two separate burst water mains on the same day caused major problems for motorists and residents.

People were offered bottled water in Hellingly and Horam and queues of traffic snaked along the A22 as engineers from water firm South East Water battled to repair the bust pipes on Tuesday, February 19.

A burst nine-inch diameter pipe was the cause of disruption to traffic on the A22 road in Hailsham at Arlington Eagles roundabout throughout the day.

The road was submerged by up to six inches as water gushed out of the burst pipe in the verge of the A22, Polegate Road near Hailsham at 9.30am. The burst affected supplies to around 15 properties in and around the area.

Engineers from South East Water battled for around nine hours to halt the water spill and repair the damaged water main.

One lane of the A22 had to be closed, a contraflow system put in place and the speed limit reduced to 30mph to ensure the repair work was carried out safely, while also enabling motorists to continue using the road, said a South East Water spokesman.

Motorists reported queues both ways on the road and a large puddle forming on the road.

In a separate incident, happening at the same time, a burst water pipe left residents in Hellingly and Horam without water.

Bottled water was made available to all affected South East Water customers.

The burst on a four-inch diameter water main happened at Coggers Cross at around 6.45am.

A water company technician and repair crew were immediately sent to the location as reports of the leak flooded into the company’s switch board and the repairs were completed by 2.45pm the same day.

Don Knight, distribution manager at South East Water, said: “There are a number of reasons why pipes burst, such as movement in the ground or freezing weather conditions, so it is difficult to determine the cause here.

A spokesman for South East Water said: “It is not thought these two burst water mains were connected.”

She added: “South East Water apologises for any inconvenience these bursts caused to residents and motorists and would like to thank customers for their patience while repairs were carried out.”