UPDATED: Households across Newport and further afield look set to be without water tonight (Saturday) as it is reported Southern Water are to switch off the mains supply due to an ongoing issue with the reservoir at Carisbrooke.
It is currently unknown how long the water will be switched off for, when it will be switched off and exactly how many properties will be affected.
Councillors in the Newport area have been informed of the situation in the past few hours and the Island’s MP, Bob Seely, has confirmed on Twitter that the water reservoir has cracked pipes.
Sources tell Island Echo that the problem could affect the entire Newport area and possibly further afield. Contingency plans are being put in place which is thought to include water resources from the mainland.
The problem is believed to have begun during the early hours of this morning and by this afternoon had started to cause greater concern. Emergency management teams at the Isle of Wight Coumcil have been notified of the situation and have been holding meetings with partner agencies.
When approached for a statement at 15:00 this afternoon, a Southern Water spokesperson did not mention the ongoing issue at Carisbrooke and the severity of the situation. They said:
“Following the thawing out of the network after the recent freezing conditions, we are aware of a number of bursts on pipes across the Isle of Wight. We have only received three no water calls from the Island and we are confident these are not connected to the problems we’re experiencing across the network.
“Our crews are working hard to find and fix the issues as quickly and safely as possible, and we would encourage any customer experiencing water loss or low pressure to call our emergency line on 0330 303 0368.”
Island Echo is awaiting information from Southern Water and the Isle of Wight Council.
UPDATE @ 19:40 – The Isle of Wight Council have established a dedicated emergency telephone number tonight as a result of the ongoing situation.
A spokesperson for the Council has said:
“Southern Water is liaising with the Isle of Wight Council and other multi-agency partners around a number of issues with the water supply distribution network on the Island.
“We have been advised that there is no immediate threat to supply and plans are ongoing to minimise the impact to Island residents.
“The council has set up an dedicated telephone line for anyone who is concerned, however, at this stage limited information is available: 01983 823426.
“If you spot a leak, please call Southern Water’s leakline on: 0800 820 999 or 0330 303 0146.
More information will be provided when possible”.
Island Echo understands that bottled water and a water bowser are being brought over to the Island as a contingency effort.
UPDATE @ 20:00 – Southern Water have confirmed working that they are working with the Local Resilience Forum, which includes the Isle of Wight Council, Fire Service and Police amongst others to ensure that, should the worst happen, they are as prepared as possible.
Alternative water supplies are being available.
Island Echo has been told that businesses in Cowes have been informed that they may also lose water.
UPDATE @ 23:33 – 10,000 homes are expected to lose water over the next few hours.
Further updates at https://www.islandecho.co.uk/10000-homes-lose-water-amid-supply-crisis/.