This page is to provide regular updates on the water outage currently affecting large parts of the Horsham District. I will try to provide as regular updates as possible, but I would encourage residents to continue checking the Southern Water website and their social media channels for updates too.
UPDATE- TUESDAY 4PM
Please see my video above. I would also like to say a big thank you to everyone who helped neighbours, friends and family members during the outage.
UPDATE- TUESDAY 3PM
Update from Southern Water:
"We're pleased to say that we believe all customers should now have their water back, although a small number of customers may still be experiencing temporary water pressure issues. If this is not the case and you don't have water, please call us on 0330 303 0368
We will be closing our bottled water site at Horsham Park and Ride, Worthing Road, RH13 0AR, at 2pm today.
As a precaution, our bottled water site at Billingshurst Football Club, A29, RH14 9HZ, will remain open. Further updates will be provided across our channels on the status of this site.
As water returns, low pressure is normal and only temporary. You can also expect to see bubbles and discolouration. More information about what you can expect is available here https://www.southernwater.co.uk/.../my-water-looks-unusual
We're really sorry for the inconvenience and distress this loss of water supply issue has caused.
Before the 5 June, we will be contacting our customers about bill rebates, based on our Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS). These payments will be credited directly to customers' water accounts. Details of the GSS can be found on our website- Guaranteed standard of service https://www.southernwater.co.uk/.../guaranteed-standards... "
UPDATE- TUESDAY- 7:30AM
For all residents who contacted me by email with emergency situations before 11pm last night details have been passed on and they should have been contacted overnight by Southern Water.
The update below from Southern Water indicates an improving picture but can I ask residents who do not have mains water supply by 11am this morning please to email me on email@example.com so I can ensure Southern Water are aware of outstanding airlocks.
MORNING UPDATE FROM SOUTHERN WATER
- improving picture with only very localised supply disruptions.
- farms and schools should now be back in supply. Tankers are on standby as precaution. Farms and vulnerable customers will continue to receive deliveries as a precaution.
- only school still be tankered is Christ’s Hospital due to localised pressure air locks.
- bottled water station at Horsham Park and ride will open at 8am as a precaution. Billingshurst station will open as a precaution also (time to be confirmed).
We're calling around care homes in locations of isolated air locks to check situation.
We expect all customers to back in supply this morning
UPDATE- MONDAY 9:30PM
Southern Water continues to progress clearing the air locks but it is an intensive and slow process.
I am aware of further individual households that are now receiving water albeit with low pressure indicating that the process is having an impact.
They remain focussed on achieving full restoration overnight but cannot give a guarantee that this will be achieved. Given the diminishing size of the remaining area affected they have committed that if schools in the affected area do not have mains water in the morning they will be able to provide tankers to provide secure water supply. The decision on opening is down to Heads who will receive advice from County but I trust this is helpful.
The points raised with me on bottle distribution have all been strongly communicated. The hope is clearly that there will be no requirement for Horsham Park and Ride bottle station to be open tomorrow morning but it will be if required.
UPDATE- MONDAY 8:30PM
I have had a further meeting with Southern Water. Their work continues. Given the nature of the exercise they cannot at this stage give certainty but their focus is for water supplies to be fully restored in the early hours.
I am aware of water coming through to certain communities in the area that have had ongoing problems (for example Coneyhurst) which suggests that the air locks are being resolved.
I am speaking to them again later when they hope to have greater certainty on timing- they are liaising direct with the County Council regarding schools in the areas which continue to be impacted.
If water is not fully restored overnight the water bottle station at Horsham Park and Ride will remain open tomorrow (it will remain open tonight until 10pm).
UPDATE- MONDAY 5PM
I have just had a meeting with Southern Water to follow up on those households still affected.
I understand the last remaining affected postcodes are: RH13 0, RH14 0, RH14 9, RH20 9 and RH20 2. It comprises around 2,000 houses in total.
The area affected is served by Itchingfield Reservoir. Water is being pumped successfully into the reservoir which is operating and providing water to a wide area. However the distribution from the reservoir to those villages still affected is being prevented by air locks in their supply network.
With all other areas (including Turners Hill) back on supply Southern Water is focussing all available resources on the remaining problems. Hydrants are being opened to release air from the system and 12 tankers are being deployed to push water through the pipes.
I am afraid their previous experience suggests that given the scale of the air lock they have encountered this process could take them this evening and into the night to resolve. However given the resources being brought to bear they hope to reduce this to the absolute minimum.
Water delivery to ALL of these properties (regardless of whether you are on the priority register or not) is taking place and I understand half of these properties have already received a delivery with all other properties scheduled to receive a delivery by the end of the day.
I have raised concerns direct where I have been made aware that vulnerable people in the area affected have not been provided with supplies.
The bottled water stations at Horsham Park and Ride and K2 will be staying open until 10pm tonight.
I know it is deeply frustrating for these outstanding properties and I am very sorry that they remain without water. Southern Water will be updating me again this evening.
UPDATE- MONDAY 1:30PM
This morning we have been back in contact with everyone who emailed in to me directly who was on the priority list and had not received a water delivery.
I am pleased that the majority have their water back and also received a delivery of water. However, these deliveries took considerable time to come through and caused people real worry and frustration.
I remain focussed on making sure Southern Water gets everyone's supply up and running today. Once they have sorted the supply I will be taking up key points with Southern Water including contingency planning, support for vulnerable customers, future learning and communication with customers. I will also be raising points about compensation for households and for businesses affected.
If you still do not have water and you are on the Southern Water's priority list and have not received a delivery then please do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE- MONDAY 10AM
Southern Water have informed me that the water has returned overnight for 20,000 customers who were out since Saturday evening. There is an exception of 2,000 customers. This is due to an air pocket in the network that Southern Water are in the process of locating and releasing.
Everyone should be back on by midday today.
The Horsham Park and Ride bottled water station opened from 8am this morning. I understand deliveries to priority customers continued throughout the night and continue this morning.
In Turners Hill (between Crawley and East Grinstead) customers lost their water around 6pm last night. Southern Water have got most of those 12,000 customers back on but some will remain off until around midday today.
They have since opened the bottle station at K2 Leisure Centre.
UPDATE- MONDAY 9AM
Alongside Turners Hill and RH13 0 being without water this morning, I am also aware that there is currently no supply or low supply to Barns Green, Christ's Hospital and Coneyhurst.
If you are still without water and outside of these areas then please do let me know.
I very much hope this is resolved over the course of this morning.
For residents in the Turners Hill area Southern Water have opened a bottled water station at K2 Leisure Centre, Pease Pottage Hill, Crawley, RH11 9BQ.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 12AM
Although it will vary road by road I have heard that water supplies are now back on in West Chiltington and Wisborough Green - this pattern should continue as the reservoirs refill and pressure increases.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 11PM
1. Vulnerable Customers
All constituents who are vulnerable customers and have contacted me about not having received water supplies had their details passed on to Southern Water. When I last spoke to Southern some 30 minutes ago deliveries (which started very early this morning) were still ongoing. While I am pleased they are (quite correctly) continuing to make deliveries notwithstanding the expectation that water supplies will resume shortly this does raise obvious questions about the resources allocated to get round the list (which naturally expanded during the day). More issues to take up.
On a more positive note may I thank the many, many people who supported elderly and unwell friends and neighbours and those without transport in securing supplies from the water stations.
2. Water Stations
Have all closed for this evening. I anticipate Hop Oast (Horsham) probably reopening tomorrow morning on a precautionary basis and have urged Southern to establish another station in or near Turners Hill until we know this issue is definitely resolved. They will confirm on social media arrangements as required.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 10PM
Update from Southern Water:
"We’re confident that water will return overnight for all customers in West Sussex except those in Turners Hill (postcode areas RH10 1, RH10 3, RH10 4, RH10 6, RH10 7, RH10 8, RH10 9, RH11 7) who may not have water until mid-morning.
Please turn your taps off before going to bed to avoid flooding. And make sure to read about what to expect as water starts to return.
More details here http://ow.ly/mE6N50Onv5b"
Southern Water graphic on what to expect as the water returns can be found above.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 9:30PM
We are all hoping that the expected restoration of full water supply and pressure overnight and into early tomorrow works.
Today I have been solely focussed on pushing Southern Water to get water supplies back to normal as swiftly as possible; to get supplies to vulnerable people and to get water stations established to meet residents‘ needs.
From my updates this evening, while I appreciate this is a call for Headteachers and County, I sincerely hope schools will feel able to open tomorrow. Southern Water have identified where they believe water supplies may be most likely to be problematic and have confirmed they have tankers available to assist if this is required.
There are then questions to be asked. In addition to speaking to Southern Water from CEO level down, I have also spoken to the Environment Minister who was fully appraised (and concerned about) the situation, the County Council, the New Leader of HDC and a number of Parish Council Chairs.
Among the questions specifically on this incident we will want to know what caused the issue, is this a long term fix and are there other vulnerabilities. Why did it take as long as it did to establish the water stations. How effective were the arrangements for reaching vulnerable people (I am aware of specific issues, not all resolved). How did the communications plans work and how can it be improved - were for example Parish Councils who have support networks informed so that they could trigger them, can Southern Water collect more mobile numbers for direct comms. Even if Southern Water surged capacity into their call centre this was still massively inadequate for the task in hand - how can they add greater resilience.
Lastly I know constituents have raised with me compensation which I will certainly be raising.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 9PM
While Southern Water is so far successfully actioning a plan to return water supplies to all residents largely overnight but continuing during tomorrow there are two issues to flag:
Pressure will be variable - you may have good pressure and then it suddenly deteriorates. This is not because the situation has worsened - it’s because more areas are being brought on line. Pressure will be variable until all the reservoirs are working properly during the course of the next 24 hours.
I have flagged it for TURNERS HILL but I note comments below on COPTHORNE as well. Residents in this area may lose water temporarily this evening as supplies are resumed. Southern Water stress this is temporary while pressure is established across the area. As a precaution they have already been distributing water to those on their vulnerable list in the area. I have been pushing for a water station on a similar precautionary basis. Customers impacted in the area should check the Southern Water website and social media. I do stress again that this is anticipated, unfortunately an inevitable part of getting the system running again and, I have been firmly assured, temporary.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 6PM
Earlier this evening I spoke to Southern Water alongside Andrew Griffith MP and a number of the local parish councils.
Southern Water are trying to ensure that households have water restored overnight but this is a gradual process and may take, for some specific areas, into tomorrow morning.
Unfortunately, they anticipate some households- and this may effect constituents in the Turners Hill area- may experience a short outage as the systems return to normal. They stress this should be short as pressure resumes but I am pushing for a water station to be prepared in case it is required.
Livestock owners should have been provided with water already. Where residents have for example horses and have not been provided with support please let me know- if necessary additional supplies can be made available at the water stations.
A great many vulnerable people have been provided with water effectively but where this has not taken place and you are on the Southern Water vulnerable list please do let me know via email Jeremy.email@example.com
The current water bottle stations will remain open this evening until at least 8pm, they may stay open longer if needed.
Andrew and I are scheduled to speak to Southern Water again tomorrow morning.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 4PM
There are queues to get into the Horsham Water Bottle station at Hop Oast but I have just visited and it is running smoothly. Staff are confirming that water supplies will be gradually returning to be fully recovered during tomorrow.
I hope to get further detail on my scheduled call with Southern Water and will also be raising other immediate issues raised by residents.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 3:00PM
Southern Water have now opened a bottled water station site at Horsham Park and Ride, Worthing Road, RH13 0AR.
This is in addition to the bottled water stations at:
-Billingshurst Football Club, A29, RH14 9GP
-Toat Cafe and Hand Car Wash, Stane Street, Pulborough, RH20 1DN
UPDATE- SUNDAY 2:30PM
From Southern Water:
“We have made good progress this morning, chlorine levels have stabilised and Hardham Water Supply Works is now operational.
Our next steps are to refill the reservoirs and recharge the network. We need to take a cautious and gradual approach, and this activity will be ongoing throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
You might experience intermittent water supply as the recharge takes place, this is totally normal. Please don’t be concerned therefore if your water returns and then you lose it again during this period.
Providing our plans progress as anticipated, customers should see their water return in the next 24 hours.
We are continuing with water deliveries to our customers on the Priority Services Register (PSR). If you are a vulnerable customer and need access to bottled water as a priority and are not on the PSR, you can sign up to our Priority Services Register and we’ll add you to the list of emergency deliveries. Call us on 0330 303 0368.”
UPDATE- SUNDAY 12:45PM
Background to problem/timings:
Southern Water cannot at this stage provide a definitive timing on when normal supplies will be restored but I want to share with you what they have told me about the current situation and why it has happened.
The water pumping station at Hardham collects water from the environment, ensures it is clean for drinking and pumps in to local reservoirs from where it then flows to peoples‘ homes.
Yesterday the continuous monitoring of the water picked up that one aspect of the water treatment process (adding chlorine) had suddenly ceased to be fully operational. This meant the plant was automatically closed down. Water ceased to be pumped to the reservoirs causing the reduction in supply. Water redirection is taking place and tankers are being used to top up supplies but without resolution the problem risks deteriorating further with more reservoirs effected.
Although this may require longer term focus to ensure there is no repetition. Southern Water believe the treatment issue which caused the shut-down is resolved and water is now being pumped from Hardham up to the reservoirs. HOWEVER supply will NOT be resumed to households until thorough testing has been completed. This is ongoing. Southern Water will complete the testing as swiftly as possible but it is unlikely that this will be concluded today.
Southern Water will continue to update via their website and social media.
I am speaking to them again later this afternoon and will also continue to issue updates.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 12PM
Along with Andrew Griffith MP for Arundel and South Downs, I have met Southern Water regarding the water outage.
Southern Water confirmed that the outage has been caused by a failure at Hardham pump station which pumps water to our local reservoirs. This means water has stopped being pumped to the Upper Nash and Itchingfield reservoirs. This failure does not mean that any water has been contaminated.
This means that people in much of the Horsham District have lost water.
Southern Water are asking those who have water to use it sparingly where possible.
Southern Water now believes that the fault at Hardham has been resolved. Southern Water are testing the water to ensure it is safe to drink. They expect that the final results will come back as fine and that water can started to be pumped to residents. This process, which involves completely filling two reservoirs will take time.
It is hoped that water will return overnight tonight.
The water bottle station at Billingshurst Football Club has been replenished in the last 30 minutes and continues to operate.
An additional water station south of Billingshurst will be opening very shortly- Southern Water will update their website and social media accordingly.
A water station in Horsham must be set up as soon as possible. I have been reassured this will be set up this afternoon.
Southern Water are utilising the Local Resilience Forum network which coordinates with local Councils and Emergency Response.
Southern Water have opened a new water station at the Toat Cafe in Pulborough, Stane St, Pulborough RH20 1DN.
I would encourage anyone who is vulnerable, is caring for a vulnerable person or has vulnerable friends, family members and neighbours to register with Southern Water using the following link: https://www.southernwater.co.uk/help-advice/join-our-priority-services-…
Residents can also add their names by calling Southern Water on 0330 303 0368. I have complained about the length of time it is taking for residents to get through. Calls are being answered- but it’s taking too long. Additional staffing has been added and more is being stood up.
Southern Water is able to text a significant proportion of customers direct. To have your mobile added to this service you can do so via the contact page on Southern Water’s website.
UPDATE- SUNDAY 8:45AM
As affected residents will be aware a significant number of homes including those supplied by Itchingfield lost water supply last night, this was a result of a technical failure at Hardham Water Treatment works.
I have been in contact with Southern Water who are issuing updates on their website Loss of supply - West Sussex (southernwater.co.uk) and via social media channels and will provide further information as it becomes available.
Bottled water stations:
They inform me that bottled water can be collected from:
Billingshurst Football Club, A29, RH14 9PG
Further bottled water stations will be opening today with times and locations added to their website as soon as confirmed.
Priority Services Register:
Deliveries of bottled water are being made to the most vulnerable customers who are on Southern Water’s priority services register.
If customers need access to bottled water as a priority, they can be signed up to the Priority Services Register and will be added to the list of emergency deliveries. Please call Southern Water on 0330 303 0368.
I am seeking an urgent call with Southern today and will provide a further update, however by way of background I understand Hardham was forced to close down due to a technical issue involving a pump in one of the contact cells. I hope the fact that the nature of the issue is clear will enable timely resolution but I am conscious having last pressure this can take time to rebuild.