Up to 5,000 customers in the Crowborough area without water


The Operations Director at South East Water this afternoon took to Facebook to explain the challenges the company is facing after the thaw. Simon Earl said Crowborough is now the priority.

South East Water is asking its customers for help in reducing demand on its network as it battles to resolve supply issues caused by the bad weather and subsequent thaw.

Overnight the company has found and fixed leaks and bursts across its 9,000 miles of water mains, and has taken staff off normal duties to concentrate all efforts on the task, as well as getting bottled water out to those areas which need it.

Some areas of Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire and Berkshire have ongoing problems with no water or low pressure and some customers may find their supplies come and go throughout the day as the company juggles the water available.

All water companies are facing the same issues and are working together to try to resolve them.

South East Water’s Operations Director Dr Simon Earl said:

We are very sorry to our customers who are without water. This is clearly a difficult time for those customers who have been without tap water for some time now

We are doing everything we can in this unprecedented situation and have crews out around the clock trying to locate and repair the leaks and bursts which are causing substantial problems across a wide area.

We have drafted in additional staff and contractors and are diverting others from non-operational roles to help with this emergency.

To help us further we would ask our customers who do have water to only use water for the essentials. Where possible, take short showers rather than baths, do not leave taps running unnecessarily and only run washing machines and dishwashers when you have a full load. If possible, avoid using appliances at the peak times of 7am to 9am and 4pm to 7pm.  This will make a real difference.

We are putting as much water into the system as possible and really appreciate our customers’ assistance through this time.

Bottled water stations or wter bowsers have been set up in the worst affected areas and supplies to them are being topped up as quickly as possible.

There are bottled water stations and/or water bowsers at the following locations:

  • Rotherfield Village Hall (bottled water)
  • Crowborough – Church Road opposite the White Hart Inn
  • Crowborough – Waitrose
  • Crowborough -Pine Grove library car park
  • Jarvis Brook – car park (bottled water and bowsers) – please take your empties for refilling

Look to see if there is water currently available.

To help maintain bottled water supplies and to make sure there is sufficient for everyone, South East Water is asking customers to only take as much as they need at any one time.

Vulnerable customers are being looked after by the company’s Customer Care Team.

Simon continued:

Unfortunately we are unable to say at this stage when supplies will return to normal.

It is a constantly changing picture in very challenging circumstances beyond our control.  All our teams are working 24 hours a day responding to a very fast moving situation and will continue to do so until the situation is resolved.

We would like to thank everyone for their patience and understanding.

Customers are also asked to check their own pipes for bursts and call a plumber if necessary.  Anyone responsible for commercial premises, which may not have been visited since the thaw started, should make sure their pipes have not been damaged.

Click for more ways to save water.

Updates are available on South East Water’s In Your Area website.



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  1. All very well saying SE water working with emergency services and supermarkets but services unable to supply water to drink supermarkets not giving water away at a loss Rotherfield had no water at 1600 when I went to get some for my house hold and that of my elderly in-laws with dementia. There has been an ongoing leak on Crowborough hill nearly opposite Sainsbury’s for months and it’s been worked on so many times over recent years and yet it’s still leaking.

  2. breaking news – mother of 2 walks 20 miles to collect daily water ration from only available safe,clean supply…. and she does this everyday referring to parts of Africa) …. seriously, we’ve been without water for a couple of days due to a once in a decade weather event… where’s our Dunkirk spirit… our grandparents and great grandparents put up with significantly greater hardships … time for a reality check

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