UPDATE: Burst water main in Huntingdon affects 4,000 properties and forces schools to close
PUBLISHED: 11:23 27 March 2014 | UPDATED: 11:46 27 March 2014
A burst water main in Huntingdon left 4,000 homes and businesses in the town and surrounding villages without water and forced school closures.
Anglian Water engineers were called to St Peter’s Road, Huntingdon at about 6am today (Wednesday) to repair a damaged pipe.
Head teachers had to enforce emergency closures because schools could not provide toilets and lunches.
Alconbury and Sawtry primary schools both had to shut, as did Sawtry Community College, which also postponed its Year 12 parents’ evening.
Linda Dove, head of Alconbury, said: “We really didn’t want to have to do this. When it became clear it was an issue Anglian Water had in Huntingdon we knew we were not going to be up and running for the start of school.
“With nearly 200 children and not having toilet facilities and not having facilities to cook, really there was no other choice but to close.”
Anglian Water apologised for the disruption, which affected Huntingdon, Alconbury, Alconbury Weston and Sawtry, where there was low pressure or no water at all.
Its initial estimate for how long it would take for the supply to be back to normal was noon, but a spokesman said pressure should have been restored by 11am.
Antony Innes, from Anglian Water, said: “We are sorry for any disruption caused to customers in parts of Huntingdon who have been affected by a burst water main on St Peter’s Road this morning.
“Engineers have been on site since around 6am working to restore supplies and start repairing the 12-inch pipe.
“Around 4,000 homes and businesses in the Sapley area may have noticed a loss of pressure or water supply this morning while engineers worked to ‘rezone’ supplies through alternative pipes.
“Water pressure started to return to normal after the rezone was completed at around 11am. Work to repair the damaged pipe will continue during the day and should not affect customers further.
“We know losing supplies can be very disruptive for customers and businesses, and we are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.”
The company advised people that the water might look cloudy or discoloured so suggested running the tap for a couple of minutes. Anyone experiencing continued problems should call 08457 145145.