VIDEO: Water chaos in Hailsham

Water is being restored to Hailsham this morning (Monday) with water company bosses saying although it is white and cloudy, it is safe to drink.

South East Water has had engineers in the town throughout the night trying to reconnect supplies after a major water main burst on the A22 Diplocks roundabout yesterday morning.

Thousands of homes have been left without water and schools partially closed in the area after the area was left without water.

The majority of the schools in the town are only open to Year 6 pupils sitting their SATs exams.

There was chaos yesterday after the main burst at 5am flooding the A22 and causing traffic chaos throughout the day.

Emergency points were set up throughout the day with free bottled water being set up in the car park at the junction of Southern Road in Hailsham, Polegate Railway Station car park and the car park at Pevensey Castle.

Water being given out at Polegate SUS-151105-120035001

Water being given out at Polegate SUS-151105-120035001

reader Laura Murphy sent in a video of the collection point at Hailsham.

In the latest update this morning from the water company, officials said although the water may be white and cloudy it is caused by air in the pipes and is safe to drink.

The company also said repair crews are continuing to work as hard as they can to safely fix the burst on a 30 inch diameter cast iron water main under the A22 at Diplocks roundabout.

South East Water currently estimates approximately 4,500 properties in the Hailsham area remain without water today.

Yesterday the company was able to re-route water around its network of underground pipes restoring supplies to the Eastbourne, Polegate, Pevensey and Sovereign Harbour last night.

Steve Andrews, Incident Manager at South East Water, said. “We are sorry for the length of time it is taking for us to repair this pipeline.

“When the pipe burst it caused a great deal of flooding – up to waist deep in certain places – and we had to pump this water away before we’ve been able to control the water flow in our network and reach the broken pipe.

“We have now dug deep into the ground to reach the pipe and removed the three meter long section of water main that has split. Our crews are currently working to fit the new section of pipeline which we estimate will be done early afternoon.

“This has been a major incident for us and our priority remains getting water back to our customers as soon as possible.

“We are grateful for the patience shown by the majority of our customers and for the support of the Hailsham Support Group which has helped man the water bottle locations and deliver water to residents.

“I would like to urge residents to keep an eye on elderly and vulnerable neighbours to make sure they have adequate bottled water and if they are concerned to contact us.”

Bottled water is currently located at Hailsham Leisure Centre, Vicarage Lane, BN27 2AX and South East Water is continuing to deliver water to vulnerable customers registered with the company. Water will be restocked throughout the day.

Steve said, “Once the repair to the pipe has been completed it will take some time for water to fill our extensive network of underground pipes in the Hailsham area but we are hopeful supplies to all customers will be restored early evening.”

“I would once again like to apologise to customers for the inconvenience this emergency incident has caused and thank them for their patience as we work hard to complete repairs for all customers.”

More information on the location of alternative water supplies is available at or by calling South East Water on 0333 000 0002.