South East Water has confirmed water supplies in parts of Sussex have returned to normal.

The company which supplies 900,000 customers across the South East pumped an extra 150 million litres of water a day into its network during the peak period of water demand in the heatwave.

Teams across Sussex worked around the clock to restore supplies to affected customers in parts of the Mid-Sussex and Wealden area.

Rainfall and cooler temperatures saw a reduction in demand and reached near normal summer levels yesterday (13 August) and tap water supplies have now been restored to all impacted customers.

Last Friday (9 August) the company treated and pumped a record-breaking 696 million litres of water top quality drinking water through its 9,000 miles of pipelines. Yesterday that figure reduced to 575 million litres.

Douglas Whitfield, Head of Operations, said: “We are really sorry to anyone who had issues with their tap water supply during the heatwave.

“We know this was incredibly frustrating given the weather and the ongoing situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We believe all customers will have normal tap water supplies now.

“Demand for water hit levels we have never seen before and we have worked tirelessly to treat enough water to pump into our network to keep taps flowing.

“At the same time, we repaired two significant burst water mains in the Rotherfield and Crowborough areas which disrupted supply to many of our customers in those areas.

“We would like to thank those customers who reduced their water use during this period to help and apologise once again to those customers who had no water this week.”

Bottled water stations were set up in the most impacted areas but these will be removed today and the sites cleared.

South East Water issued 170,000 litres of bottled water to customers collecting at bottled water stations and also delivered more than 40,000 bottles directly to customers on its Priority Services Register.

Douglas added: “I would also like to thank all of the incredible South East Water staff who have worked around the clock to get taps flowing as normal. Whether it be fixing pipes, treating water, speaking to customers on the phone, manning bottled water stations or handing out bottles of water to our vulnerable customers – it’s been a real team effort from everyone.”

The company will now undertake a full review into what happened which will include talking to affected customers and stakeholders.

To find out more about the Priority Service Register visit southeastwater.co.uk/priority

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