More than 2,000 people were left without water for a day after a pipe developed a metre-long crack and started leaking into the surrounding areas.

Homes were without water for some 15 hours on Wednesday while repairs took place to replace the faulty section of water main.

The underground pipe split next to the A21 in Hurst Green near Battle causing part of the road to be closed.

The water company opened water stations to help residents.

Matthew Dean, incident manager at South East Water, apologised to those affected in Flimwell, Hurst Green and surrounding villages.


He said: “Our 24-hour control room raised the alarm in the early hours of yesterday morning after noticing high water flows which indicated to them an issue in the area.

“Once working, an excavator dug around 1.2m down and found the pipe had a 1.5m split and had saturated the ground surrounding it. As a result, the water to the affected part of the pipe had to be turned off to allow the repair to be completed safely.

The Argus: The cracked pipeThe cracked pipe (Image: South East Water)

“As this large strategic pipe, which runs for almost 11 kilometres, supplies a large area around Flimwell, Robertsbridge, Mountfield and surrounding villages, just under 2,000 of our customers were without water for a period from around 5am with the last customers receiving their supply again by 8pm.”

Large crates of water bottles were seen at bottling stations in Robertsbridge and they were handed out to people from neighbouring villages affected by the outage.

Sections of the A21 became congested while repairs took place by the roadside.

South East Water warned that some residents may still see “cloudy or discoloured water” after the repairs but that this is normal and “poses no risk to health”.