Thousands of people in Bedfordshire have been reportedly queuing for bottled water after losing their water supply for two nights in a row. According to international media reports, the area of approximately 40,000 people was affected when the outage hit on Friday. About 12,000 properties in Leighton Buzzard, Toddington, Hockliffe and surrounding areas were also affected due to a faulty valve. Local suppliers Anglian Water while speaking to an international media outlet said that it has restored services to many customers but due to air trapped in the pipes some customers in Leighton Linslade, Pottsgrove, Milton Bryan and Southcott are still without water.
The local water supplying company reportedly handed out bottles. However, the company was branded 'disgraceful' by residents. A local resident Maria Power told media that she had to stand in the queue for 45 minutes at a Tesco in Leighton Buzzard, where the company was handing out free bottled water to those who were still affected. She added that there were around 50 people in front of her and it continued to grow behind her. She also said that she was angry at the water company as they left people without water for nearly 48 hours.
Anglian Water has, however, apologised for the fault, which they say was caused by a broken valve and then by air trapped in the pipes. A spokesperson from the company also told an international media outlet that the valve was fixed on Saturday but some properties are still without water because of the air in the system. The firm also warned the local residents that water was unlikely to return to the areas until Monday afternoon. The firm made sure that the customers who were in its 'priority list', such as elderly people or families with young children, had been delivered bottled water. According to reports, the firm's engineers were installing an overload pipe to bypass the airlocked water main. Conservative MP for Leighton Buzzard Andrew Selous also tweeted and said that the queues have dropped down and everyone got their allocation.
Anglian Water are expressing “confidence“ that things will return to normal this evening in terms of water supply to Leighton Buzzard and Linslade.— Andrew Selous MP (@AndrewSelous) December 15, 2019
Our teams have been out handing out bottled water for customers off water in Linslade at Tesco, Vimy Rd, LU71ER— Anglian Water (@AnglianWater) December 15, 2019
and Brooklands Social Club, Garden Leys, LU7 3PQ. For vulnerable customers in urgent need please call 0800 145 145 for a delivery of bottled water pic.twitter.com/OktxslCooJ