HOMES in Burgess Hill and the surrounding area are without water and schools have been closed due to a burst water main.

South East Water is working to repair the burst pipe which has flooded playing fields near to Burgess Hill Football Club.

Woodlands Meed, London Meed, Manor Field and Burgess Hill Academy have been forced to shut for the day due to the issue. 

The water supply of homes in Burgess Hill, Haywards Heath and surrounding villages has also been affected.

Medical student Olivia Tierney has had no water for showers which has left her unable to work on the neonatal ward at Royal Sussex County Hospital.

She said: "I'm intrigued to see whether South East Water will refund us our £20 each if things aren't fixed by 2pm."

Local resident Debi Coote discovered the water was out when she woke up this morning and had to go to a supermarket to stock up on bottled water. 

She said: "Luckily I work from home so the lack of shower isn’t too much of an issue, I managed to get some bottled water from Lidl so I have at least managed to brush my teeth."

Her daughter attends Burgess Hill Academy, one of the schools to shut as a result of the outage.

But she said there were some positives to be taken from the burst water main.

Debi said: "It has brought out the best in the community.

"Neighbours are dropping off bottled water for each other, offering water from garden water butts for flushing toilets and the local schools have been excellent in their communications about school closures."

The Argus:

Bottled water stations are currently being arranged by South East Water "should they be required if the pipe cannot be quickly repaired".

South East Water incident manager, Steve Andrews said: “The burst occurred in the early hours of this morning and our repair team has been dispatched to begin fixing the damaged main.

“We’re very aware this area was recently impacted during the heatwave and we are really sorry for the disruption this emergency incident has caused to customers.”

Last month, households in Bolney, Bolnore Village, Cuckfield, Haywards Heath, Slaugham and Warninglid were left without water for several days as temperatures soared.

South East Water cited a combination of hot weather and more time spent at home during lockdown as the reason behind a spike in demand which could not be met.

Now some residents in these areas are facing their second outage in two months.

Mr Andrews added: “Our priority now is to get tap water supplies flowing as soon as possible and we will be rerouting water around the network to help minimise the number of properties impacted.

“We would like to apologise to our customers for any inconvenience this emergency has caused, but hope our customers understand that we are taking all necessary steps to restore supplies as quickly as we can.”