Southern Water has apologised to residents left without water for three days and offered water bill rebates as compensation.

The company’s Testwood site, just outside Totton, draws its water from the nearby chalk stream.

Weeks of heavy rain, including Storm Ciarán, caused river levels to rise enormously, and floodwater ran into the Testwood site.

This caused a build-up of mud, silt, and debris within the watercourse.  

READ MORE: Southern Water Hampshire customers without water as storm hits

A spokesperson from Southern Water said: “We’re sorry our customers in Waterside, New Forest, and on the Isle of Wight, experienced no water or a limited supply last week.

“We understand the impact and distress this caused you. 

“The interruption was caused by unprecedented issues with the quality of water we took from the River Test, to treat at our Testwood Water Supply Works. This is the water that is then provided to you.

“Testwood is designed to clean and treat water with certain amounts of debris in, but not to the scale we experienced last week.

“Re-filling our water network has to be done slowly to prevent further issues like bursts, airlocks and excessive discoloured water from occurring.”

Many residents have told of their frustration with Southern Water for not having infrastructure in place to deal with flooding and heavy rainfall.

A 67-year-old mother from Dibden Purlieu, Diane Diamond, called for an overhaul of how the water company deals with its customers in times of crisis.

Daily Echo: Diane Diamond has told she thinks Southern Water's response to the crisis has been terribleDiane Diamond has told she thinks Southern Water's response to the crisis has been terrible (Image: Submitted)

Diane cares for her 34-year-old disabled son James who is double-incontinent.

During the outage last week, she had to top up her washing machine with bottled water to wash her son's soiled sheets.

She said: “The response from Southern Water has been terrible. I’ve tried to get some support from them for days – even though my son James is on the vulnerable list, we have had no water deliveries or support.

“My water bill is £2,000 a year – We should not be fighting to get support. I'll never take tap water for granted again.”

The company has offered a rebate to the customers affected who will be written to by the end of the month.

The spokesperson added: “We’re aware of the emotional and practical effects of having no water.

“If you were without water for more than 12 hours, you are entitled to a rebate on your water bill under our Guaranteed Standards Scheme.

“Household and business customers entitled to this will receive a letter or email about this before November 30th.”