HUNDREDS of homes were left without water today – just hours after a drought was declared.
Families were forced to queue for bottles of water in Surrey after “technical issues” sparked chaos at Thames Water’s Netley Mill Water Treatment Works.
Hundreds of households in Surrey woke up to low pressure or no water at all this morningCredit: Martin Bamford/SurreyLive
Queues could be seen snaking around a local car park as workers dished out bottlesCredit: Martin Bamford/SurreyLive
But many residents blasted the scenes, which saw the bottles quickly run outCredit: Martin Bamford/SurreyLive
Queues were seen snaking around the Cranleigh Village Way car park first thing as desperate residents waited for bottles.
Many locals blasted the scenes – reporting being turned away when the bottles ran out, Surrey Live reports.
Retired Chelsea and England left-back Graeme Le Saux, who lives in the Cranleigh area, slammed Jeremy Hunt after the MP for South West Surrey shared a picture of himself in Thames Water uniform and confirmed there ere problems with “the equipment”.
He wrote: “Another PR stunt Jeremy. It is all about you, isn’t it? Whilst people suffer, you happily support mismanaged vital infrastructure.
“There is no bottled water at the pick up points, they’ve already run out. But hey, a great opp for you to send out some meaningless tweet!”
The affected postcodes are GU5, GU6, RH4, RH5 and RH12, which include Cranleigh and Dorking, where Thames Water says a second bottled water station has now opened.
Meanwhile, other Cranleigh residents hit out at Thames Water and complained of long queues in sweltering heat and an insufficient availability of water bottles.
Local councillor Liz Townsend said: “Am so angry to see lots of elderly people looking stressed and worried with no water, queuing up in the heat this morning to get only 2x2L bottles because there was not enough and being told they had to come out again later to pick more up!”
Another resident added: “Drop-offs at Cranleigh for such a small amount of water for families unable to flush toilets/a simple wash is not nearly enough, surrounding villages need drop-off points too.
“This is utterly unacceptable, especially considering the constant water leaks we’ve had.”
In a statement, Thames Water said: “Our specialist engineers are on site and are working hard to fix the issue as quickly as possible.
“We’ve been using tankers to pump water into the local supply network to help improve the situation. We are opening bottled water stations this morning for those who need temporary supplies. We will confirm the locations and opening times here, as soon as possible.
“We know how worrying and disruptive it is to be without water, especially in this hot weather. Thank you for your continued patience while we work to get supplies back to normal. We’ll post updates here, once we have further information.”
It comes after a drought was declared across parts of England yesterday, as the nation battles its four-day long heatwave.
The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs later declared the most affected areas of England – the South West, parts of southern and central, and the East – are to be moved into drought status.
This includes: Devon and Cornwall, Solent and South Downs, Kent, south London and East Sussex, Herts and north London, East Anglia, Thames, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, and the East Midlands.
Yorkshire and the West Midlands are expected to be moved into the drought category later this month.
The Environment Agency (EA) and water companies are expected to implement further plans to manage the impact of low water levels, which may include further hosepipe bans – though they insist supplies are safe.
Restrictions are already in place across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Man, Kent and Sussex amid a prolonged dry spell and “record demand”.
Welsh Water has announced those living in Pembrokeshire can no longer use hosepipes or sprinklers from August 19, and Thames Water has warned bans could cover Greater London, Thames Valley, Surrey, Gloucestershire and northern Wiltshire in the “coming weeks”.
Graeme Le Saux blasted Jeremy Hunt’s ‘meaningless’ tweet todayCredit: Twitter/@graemelesaux14
Low water levels pictured at Pontsticill Reservoir near Merthyr Tydfil, WalesCredit: Getty
Residents pictured queuing for water bottles in Haddenham in Cambridgeshire this weekCredit: Geoff Robinson
Dried and cracked mud is exposed at Pontsticill Reservoir near Merthyr Tydfil, WalesCredit: Getty
A dry football pitch at Hackney Marshes, east London