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Burst water main which affected Caistor St Edmund and surrounding area

Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Hole created to repair the burst main at Caistor St Edmund pumping station

Early on Tuesday morning (30 December) water started to return to homes across parts of south Norfolk that were affected by a burst water main at Caistor St Edmund. We know this interruption would have been terribly inconvenient for customers, especially over the festive season, and we are sorry for that. 

The repair to the pipe was very unusual and complicated. The damaged pipe was buried about 20ft (6 metres) below ground, and the soil surrounding it was very wet. 

During the repair close to 170 people worked around the clock in freezing and wet conditions, many cancelling or cutting short their holiday to help in any way they could. We also received exceptional support from local communities and the Red Cross, and we are very grateful for that.

You can take a look at a gallery of images of the complex repair job here

While the work was being carried out, we worked hard to make alternative supplies of water available to all of the 5,000 homes which were affected, not just those listed on our WaterCare register. During this time we:

  • gave out over 42,000 litres of bottled water
  • used 11 large capacity tankers to pump water into the network and
  • ran 26 different bowser locations, to help people get access to water.

However, we do know that at times this may not have run as smoothly as we would have liked with some bowsers running out. We are sorry for this added inconvenience.

Over the next couple of days, customers affected during this time will be receiving this letter offering our sincere apologies and a £20 credit to their accounts as a gesture of goodwill. We will also, by way of an apology to the affected communities, be making £1,000 donations to a number of local charities or community projects, and we will be working with local Parish Councils to identify appropriate recipients.

We do know how terribly inconvenient this will have been and we are very grateful for the patience, understanding and feedback we've received from local communities while we dealt with this incident. 

Sign up for alerts

During this repair job we kept a large number of customers up-to-date with progress using recorded phone or text messages. We can only do this if we hold up-to-date telephone contact details for you. While we hope nothing like this will happen again, you can sign up to receive important information from us should something like this occur by completing this form. Don't forget to fill in your telephone and mobile no. 


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Registered in England No. 2366656. Registered Office: Lancaster House, Lancaster Way, Ermine Business Park, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. PE29 6XU