Up to 12,000 Brits are STILL without water as Thames Water supply crisis sparks chaos in Surrey – with locals queueing for bottled water in car parks and schools forced to shut after firm blamed the weather for shortage
- READ MORE: Thousands of Thames Water customers are left without water
As many as 12,000 Brits are still without water as the Thames Water supply crisis sparks chaos in Surrey.
Locals queued for bottled water in car parks while schools were forced to shut – with the firm blaming Storm Ciaran for the shortage.
Thames Water apologised for the problems in areas including Guildford and Godalming, saying that the storm created issues at the Shalford water treatment works.
But Waverley Borough Council leader Paul Follows criticised the firm for a lack of communication.
He told BBC Breakfast: ‘Water infrastructure in this country is clearly crumbling.
Vast queues form for bottled water in the crown Court Car park in Godalming Surrey
Local residents collect bottles of water in Godalming, Surrey, as almost 12,000 people remain without running water
Locals carry bottled water back to their cars after Storm Ciaran caused problems at a treatment plant in Surrey
Several postcodes are still affected by the water shortage today
Local put bottled water in their cars due to the water shortage ongoing today
Borough Council leader Paul Follows criticised the firm for a lack of communication
‘I have certainly got questions for the county for not declaring a major incident much earlier, and I will certainly have questions for our MP about the state of water infrastructure in the local area because it is clearly failing.
‘People have been quite upset… we’ve had almost no communications from Thames Water right from the start, so just actually trying to get basic information about what the problem is, how they’re resolving it and when it will be resolved, that has actually been the challenge.’
Which schools in the area have closed?
- Milford School closed
- Rodborough School closed
- Tenderlinks Day Nursery closed
- Moss Lane School closed
- Godalming Junior School closed
- St Edmund’s Primary School closed
- Broadwater School closed
- St Hilary’s School closed
- Loseley Fields closed
- St Mark and All Saints closed
- Farncombe School closed
- Charterhouse School closed
- Priors Field closed
- Busbridge School closed
Surrey County Council (SCC) declared a major incident on Sunday.
It said staff were dealing with incidents involving reports of no water or low pressure while Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said on Sunday that Thames Water had told him that at least 13,500 homes had been affected on Sunday afternoon.
David Bird, retail director for Thames Water, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Monday: ‘We absolutely accept that the quality of service that has been provided to our customers has not been at the level they would want, but obviously in this specific incident in Guildford it has been as a result of one of the biggest storms we’ve had in a decade.
‘My focus today is making sure we are supporting all of our customers.’
Mr Bird said the water network around Guildford posed a particular challenge as it was ‘in effect an island’, and that Thames Water had given out nearly half a million litres of bottled water to those affected.
He added the company was seeing improvements in the situation and hoped to get customers back on supply ‘in the very near future’.
Mr Hunt, who is MP for South West Surrey which includes Godalming and the surrounding villages among the affected areas, said he was ‘very concerned’ about the situation and tweeted that he would talk to a Thames Water executive.
After speaking to Alastair Cochran, Thames Water’s interim co-chief executive and chief financial officer, Mr Hunt posted a message on X, formerly Twitter, which said the firm was ‘resetting and reprogramming’ the control system.
Thames Water apologised for the problems in areas including Guildford and Godalming
As many as 12,000 Brits are still without water as the Thames Water supply crisis sparks chaos
Long queues of cars are forming as people wait to collect bottled water at a collection point
Many Brits were seen queuing and collecting the bottled water today
Vast queues form for bottled water in the crown Court Car park in Godalming, Surrey
READ MORE: Major incident in Surrey declared as thousands of Thames Water customer left without water in their homes following Storm Ciaran wreck
The Chancellor later tweeted that the firm was ‘tankering water to ensure that they can support hospitals and bottled water stations remain open’.
Yesterday the families affected by the shortage were furious and vented online about the huge problem.
Professor Nigel Wright, an expert in flood risk, said: ‘A lack of planning and investment in resilience has caused this. Don’t pass the buck.’
Tobias Byfield agreed: ‘Shocking lack of comms from Thames Water – I’m an affected customer and have not had a text or email from them.
‘I think Jeremy Hunt wasn’t given an update until about an hour ago, its really poor comms + logistics and hope ‘lessons are learnt’ here.
And another customer railed to Thames Water: ‘Timeframe? Risk of the issue spreading wider? You’re a joke of an organization.’
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