Many British homes left without water as snow thaw bursts pipes

Icicles formed inside a former railway tunnel near Penicuik in Midlothian

Icicles formed inside a former railway tunnel near Penicuik in Midlothian

"We were prepared for the poor weather when it swept in and have also been planning for the thaw and the bursts we knew it would inevitably cause".

Residents of some parts of London and the South East said they had been without water for more than 24 hours by Sunday night, with little indication of when supplies would return.

According to the firm, this saw it treat about 130 million more litres of water than it would normally provide on a normal winter's day - enough to fill 50 Olympic-sized swimming pools.

However, some suppliers have kept warnings in place and are advising customers to use water sparingly, as some parts of the United Kingdom are still experiencing shortages.

It is possible to claim compensation for a number of problems including extended periods of time spent without water, multiple periods of low water pressure, complaints not being dealt with in a certain time frame and appointments not being kept.

Councillors at the Kent flood risk management meeting today criticised South East Water for its handling of the situation.

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Much of the city was left without running water or a low-pressure supply after 20 pipes burst across Portsmouth, due to a rise in temperature as the snow melted.

In the meantime the water suppliers are prioritising supplies for vulnerable customers and providing bottled water where necessary.

In Hampstead, people without water can collect bottles from the No 1 Pond Car Park, on East Heath Road, NW3 2RJ.

The water supply problems, triggered by last week's extreme weather, have led to school closures and emergency water distribution in parts of London.

A spokesperson for Thames Water said: "We are really sorry to all those customers who are now without water".

Leak detection teams remain out in force across London to find further leaks and get them repaired as quickly as possible.

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