THOUSANDS of people in a Hampshire town were without water for nearly four hours yesterday due to a burst pipe.

Sembcorp Bournemouth Water said the pipe burst around 5.15am in Spittlefields, Ringwood, leaving around 3,500 homes without water or suffering low pressure.

Engineers restored the supply by 9am.

Bob Taylor, director of operations at Sembcorp Bournemouth Water said “quite a lot” of water was lost from the pipe.

“There was localised flooding around Spittlefields at the back of properties. The pipe burst on a public footpath and people would have suffered low pressure or lost their water supply initially,” he said. “We were on the case very, very quickly – we can tell almost straight away when this happens. Supplies were restored to homes in around one and a half hours from a different location. “I went there myself and there is minimal damage to property but still a bit of water lying on the road draining away.”

Mr Taylor said there had been around eight or nine inches of water in the worst-affected places.