Bottled water stations opened in Surrey after issues at treatment works

Residents of Cranleigh faced with empty taps and low pressure as country braved another heatwave

Bottled water stations have been opened in Surrey as residents were left without water due to a technical issue on one of the hottest days of the year.

Many residents woke up to a diminished water supply or low pressure in their taps due to complications at Netley Mill water treatment works, which serves 8,500 properties in Cranleigh and surrounding villages.

Thames Water said it was doing everything it could to resume supplies, but in the meantime had set up three hubs at which local people could pick up bottled water, and would open more if there was demand for it.

Scenes at Cranleigh Village Way car park this morning as @thameswater distributes emergency bottled water supplies. @surreylive @BBCSurrey

— Martin Bamford (@martinbamford) August 13, 2022

It advised that the supplies were for “essential use, like drinking, cooking, and hand washing” and urged people to be considerate, taking only what they needed.

“If you have a neighbour who’s unable to get to a water station, please let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure our limited supplies are fairly handed out,” it added in a statement.

Jeremy Hunt, the MP for South West Surrey, said he had “big concerns” over the water outage, and had contacted Thames Water’s chief executive, Sarah Bentley, on Saturday morning.

Households across postcodes GU5, GU6, RH4, RH5 and RH12 have been affected by the issue, which came one day after a drought was officially declared in eight regions in England.

Welsh Water, Southern Water and South East Water have all imposed hosepipe bans, while Yorkshire Water’s restrictions will be introduced on 26 August.

Thames Water this week admitted that its efforts to curb water wastage are not as effective as it hoped, and it loses more than 635 million litres of water a day.

The company is expected to introduce a hosepipe ban in the coming weeks, hitting 15 million people in London and the surrounding areas.

Increasing temperatures have sparked wildfires across the country, with four fire engines tackling a blaze in Derbyshire on Friday, while firefighters were also called to blazes in east London and Dorset.

The hot weather has prompted the Met Office to issue an amber heat warning as the UK could see temperatures as high as 35 degrees over the weekend.


Zaina Alibhai

The GuardianTramp

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