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West Sussex residents were unable to access water in their homes over the weekend, after a Sothern Water pipe burst.

On Saturday, September 7th, a water main in Toddington Lane burst, leaving residents on the street, as well as in Littlehampton, with low water pressure or no water at all.

The water company took to Twitter to communicate with customers about the issue, saying: “We’re working hard to repair a burst water main … We apologise for any inconvenience caused as we carry out these emergency repairs.”

Later that day, a spokesperson for Southern Water updated the social media account regarding the situation, telling the residents in Wick the repair work was “progressing well & the network is starting to re-charge [sic]”.

The water provider handed out bottled water to vulnerable customers while the work was being carried out to ensure everyone had enough supply.

While it tried to reassure people that access to water would return to normal “in the next few hours”, some of those living in BN16 and BN17 might not have had normal conditions until the following day.

Even those who were able to access water are likely to have found their water to be cloudy. However, Southern Water reassured customers that “this is completely normal”.

It continued to offer bottled water and standby tankers at the Travelodge car park in Littlehampton yesterday morning until all repair work was completed.

The provider’s Twitter account advised any customers still experiencing problems with their water supply to contact them.

For those who are still encountering low water pressure, it said: “Our network centre is working to balance supply and demand in the area and the situation should steadily improve.”

Southern Water could have benefited from pipe strengthening the facilities in Wick prior to the incident.

This would have ensured the pipes were in good condition to cope with the volume of water that needs to pass through them on a daily basis.

While they might have been built well, pipes deteriorate over the years, particularly as the population is likely to have risen since they were fitted. This would have had the consequence of putting more pressure on the steel structures, as the amount of water required has, no doubt, increased.

Composites Construction UK repairs pipes using Tyfo Fibrwrap System, which strengthens the steel pressure pipelines. This helps to amend problems common with water pipes, including internal pressure increases, degradation, and corrosion.

Southern Water also has to deal with the problem of blocked pipes as well as burst ones. This is why it regularly reminds customers not to put anything down the toilet that can cause serious blockages further down the pipeline.

Last week, it Tweeted: “51% of sewers blockages we’ve dealt with in the last 5 years were caused by wipes & sanitary products [sic].”

It also retweted @LoveWaterUK’s message “only to flush #PeePooandPaper down the loo!”

The Tweet went on to say: “Wipes and sanitary products flushed down the toilet cause serious problems for our sewers and result in #pollution to our #rivers. #ShowWaterSomeLove and bin them instead [sic].”