Heatwave: Huge queues for bottled water as Isle of Sheppey hit with second day of supply problems

Residents queuing for bottled water on Isle of Sheppey

Huge queues have formed at emergency water stations on the Isle of Sheppey as residents face a second day of shortages - while weathering temperatures in the high 20s.

It's estimated around 24,000 properties have been affected by the issue, which hit yesterday (Tuesday, 12 July) due to a fault in the pipeline which carries the Kent island's water from the mainland.

A number of schools, including The Oasis Academy, have been forced to close as a result and supermarkets and council buildings have also been affected.

Emergency supplies of bottled water have been made available at collection points across the island and Southern Water is delivering bottles to those on its Priority Services Register.

The water shortages come as forecasters issue heatwave weather warnings for much of the UK.

Bottled water being handed out at Minster Working Men's Club in Sheerness Credit: ITV Meridian

The initial burst water main was repaired last night but when the network filled another took place.

Repairs to the second burst are now complete, and Southern Water are slowly starting to refill the network.

The company says it must be done slowly to protect the quality of the water they're sending back to taps and to prevent further bursts.  

 A spokesperson said: "We thank customers for their ongoing patience while we work to return supply as quickly as possible. 

"If you’re leaving the house, check taps are turned off just in case your water comes back while you’re out.

"While we bring supplies back, you may notice discolouration to your water – this is completely normal, and water is ok to use as usual.  "Bottled water stations will remain open and continue to be re-stocked. We’re really sorry again for the disruption caused."

  • WATCH: Southern Water's Operational Control Manager, Peter Stakim, says they are working around the clock to restore supplies

Kent County Council (KCC) has closed its public buildings on the Isle of Sheppey due to the water supply issues.

It says schools, libraries, children's centres, and the Sheerness Gateway will remain closed until supply is restored.

A KCC spokesperson said: "We are working at pace with partners from the Kent Resilience Forum to support Southern Water in returning services to homes and businesses as soon as possible.

"We understand the concern this will cause members of the public and we are working with Southern Water and partners to ensure the most vulnerable are properly protected."

  • WATCH: Residents say they hope the water supply is restored soon

Southern Water collection points can be found at:

  • Promenade Long Stay Car Park, Leysdown-on-Sea, Sheerness, ME12 4QA  

  • Tesco Bridge Rd, Sheerness, ME12 1RH

  • Minster Working Men's Club, Union Rd, Minster on Sea, Sheerness, ME12 2HW

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