RESIDENTS are still enduring empty taps more than 12 hours after a burst pipe left a playing field submerged under a huge volume of water.

The burst water main in Burgess Hill meant hundreds of households woke up this morning to find their water was not working.

Homes in the town, as well as Haywards Heath and surrounding villages, were affected and several schools were forced to close for the day.

South East Water issued a statement shortly after 9am to say technicians were working to fix the problem and apologised for the outage.

At noon the company issued a second statement, advising customers that "technicians have isolated the burst pipe meaning most impacted customers in the Haywards Heath area should slowly see their water supply return to normal”.

The Argus:

However, as of 5pm, many residents remain without access to running water in their homes.

South East Water's head of central operations Steve Andrews said: "We’re really sorry to customers who have gone without water this morning.

“Please be assured we’re doing everything we can to get taps flowing as quickly as possible and that is our absolute priority.

“Unfortunately, the burst pipe meant our underground storage tanks lost a lot of water.

“As soon as we can get the pipe fixed, the tanks will refill and all customers should see their supplies return.”

The Argus:

Bottled water stations were set up at Burgess Hill Rugby Football Club, the Ashenground Community Centre in Haywards Heath and the Sidney West Children and Family Centre in Burgess Hill.

But the Sidney West site quickly ran out of supplies.

At 5pm, Burgess Hill Town Council confirmed that a delivery was en route to re-stock the Sidney West and Rugby Club water stations, but added that it had become delayed by traffic.

In the water company's statement issued this morning, Mr Andrews further apologised as he was "aware this area was recently impacted during the heatwave and we are really sorry for the disruption this emergency incident has caused to customers".

The Argus:

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.

Consequently, this is the second time some residents in these areas have faced a water outage in the last two months.