Hailsham water update: Burst main has been repaired

Work at the burst water main in Hailsham
Work at the burst water main in Hailsham

South East Water has said the burst main which has left thousands of families without water, has now been repaired.

But some residents will have to wait until this evening for the water supply to return to their homes in Hailsham.

At 3.22pm this afternoon (May 11), the firm said it had fixed the problem, where a water main had burst, near the A22 Diplock roundabout junction.

Around 4,500 properties in the Hailsham, Eastbourne, Polegate and Pevensey areas were left without water, after the burst on Sunday at 5am.

Since then, the company has been handing out free bottles of water to residents - which is still available from the Hailsham Leisure Centre car park.

A spokesman said, “Our engineers have now repaired the burst main on the A22 Diplock roundabout junction. However, we need to put water into the main slowly to prevent further bursts.

“We are currently anticipating most customers will have supplies restored early this evening.”

Earlier today, Steve Andrews, Incident Manager at South East Water, said, “We are sorry for the length of time it is taking for us to repair this pipeline.

“When the pipe burst it caused a great deal of flooding – up to waist deep in certain places – and we had to pump this water away before we’ve been able to control the water flow in our network and reach the broken pipe.

“We have now dug deep into the ground to reach the pipe and removed the three meter long section of water main that has split. Our crews are currently working to fit the new section of pipeline which we estimate will be done early afternoon.

“This has been a major incident for us and our priority remains getting water back to our customers as soon as possible.

“We are grateful for the patience shown by the majority of our customers and for the support of the Hailsham Support Group who have helped man the water bottle locations and deliver water to residents.”

Bottled water is currently located at Hailsham Leisure Centre, Vicarage Lane, BN27 2AX and South East Water is continuing to deliver water to vulnerable customers registered with the company. Water will be restocked throughout the day.

Steve continued: “Once the repair to the pipe has been completed it will take some time for water to fill our extensive network of underground pipes in the Hailsham area but we are hopeful supplies to all customers will be restored early evening.”

“I would once again like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience this emergency incident has caused and thank them for their patience as we work hard to complete repairs for all customers.”

More information on the location of alternative water supplies is available at southeastwater.co.uk or by calling South East Water on 0333 000 0002.