A sewer pipe failure that contaminated a school field is expected to take weeks to fix, according to Southern Water.

Staff from the water utility company have been working to repair the burst pipe at Hounsdown School in Totton since Friday, January 5, after the headteacher asked parents and carers to remind their children that the green would be out of bounds until the issue had been resolved.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Southern Water told the Echo: “Our teams have deployed tankers to help clear the fallout from a burst rising main, in the field at Hounsdown School on Friday, January 5.”

They added: “The repair is a complex engineering job. We are working as quickly as we can and aim to complete the work within the next few weeks.

“Plans have been agreed with the school to ensure that the fix will be one that protects the field for the future.”

Headteacher of the secondary school, David Veal, confirmed to the Echo that the affected area is ‘enclosed by security fencing’ and remains 'hopeful’ the field will be accessible again by the spring.

Mr Veal said: “Southern Water continue to be very helpful in addressing the issue.

“The affected area of the field is enclosed in security fencing to prevent access.

“School has not been using the field at present anyway due to the wet weather and so there is no immediate impact on learning or on social time.

“Any school sports fixtures (e.g. football) that would have been played during the time of the repair will be relocated to another local venue.”

The headteacher added: “We have been reassured that when the field is returned to use any contamination will have been cleared and the field will be safe to use before being returned to use.

“We will be checking to make sure this is the case and won't allow access back on to the field until we are sure of this.

“We don't have a specific time frame for repair yet but will keep everyone updated via Parent Mail.

“We remain hopeful that this will coincide with better weather into the early spring, so avoiding impact on teaching, sports fixtures or social time for students.”