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City tower block hit by burst pipes
6:10am Wednesday 31st October 2012 in News
HUNDREDS of residents spent 10 hours without water yesterday after burst water pipes caused chaos in a Southampton community.
Taps ran dry, babies’ bottles and baths could not be filled and toilets could not be flushed after a water main broke in Millbrook – cutting supplies to nearly 200 homes, including Southampton’s tallest tower block, the 25 storey Millbrook Towers.
Southern Water said the alarm was raised at 9am and that engineers spent the intervening hours hunting down the source of the leak before they begin drilling deep into the road on the junction of Ullswater Road and Windermere Avenue.
Some fed up residents were delivered bottled water throughout the day while others ran local shops dry of large bottles of water.
Mum Carrie Mitchell, 21, of Millbrook Towers, was left unable to fill her threemonth- old baby’s bottle. She said: “I am worried about the baby– he needs it every four to five hours.”
She said she had not received any emergency bottled water from Southern Water and could not afford to buy it herself.
Dad Nathan Drury, 30, of Millbrook Towers, said he only realised the supply was off when running the baby’s bath and received no information from landlord Southampton City Council or Southern Water about how long his family would be without a functioning toilet or drinking water.
He said: “It is almost like this block doesn’t exist. The children have nothing to drink except milk and there isn’t much left.”
Paul Harris, 30, said he first noticed something was wrong when only hot water came out of the tap, although that soon ran dry.
He said: “We received no notice of the problem whatsoever.
Being kept in the dark is just wrong.”
Shopkeeper Ian Smith, who runs the Food Barn opposite Millbrook Towers, ran out of stocks in just three hours.
He said: “We sold 200.
People started noticing there was no water in the system and all of a sudden there was a mad panic.”
Southern Water said supplies were back on from 7pm.
A spokesman said: “We repaired the pipe as a matter of urgency and restored supplies as soon as possible. We apologize to customers affected for the inconvenience.”
Council housing and leisure boss Warwick Payne said last night: “It’s understandable that Southern Water may have problems with their pipes and there may be brief periods when the supplies are disrupted but I would not expect that to be for more than a few hours – anything longer and questions need to be asked.”