A school field near Southampton has been closed off after a sewer pipe running the length of the green failed, contaminating the field.

Parents and carers of pupils at Hounsdown School in Totton were notified of the sewer pipe failure on Thursday evening – January 4 – with the secondary school’s headteacher, David Veal, confirming the school would remain open.

In a letter, Mr Veal said: “A Southern Water maintained mains sewer pipe that runs the full width of the school field has failed and is causing unstable ground and contamination of the field.

“This means the whole school field is out of bounds until further notice.

“Please check with your young person they know this and understand the risks."

The headteacher added: “Signs and barriers have been put up and students have been told.

“The unstable ground, currently about the area of a football goalpost, is particularly dangerous as we are not able to predict if or when it may sink, or how deep.”

The school confirmed that Southern Water ‘responded immediately’ and would be working to repair the problem.

Mr Veal added: “Southern Water responded immediately to our call today (Thursday, January 4) and have reassured us they will be working straight away to repair and reinstate the pipe and field.

“There is currently no disruption to learning or school operation.

“The school remains fully open.”