Surrey water chaos: Residents forced to queue for bottles after ‘tap technical issues’

Postcodes around Cranleigh, Dorking and in rural areas near Crawley have woken up to either low water pressure or no supply at all. Thames Water said the supply failure stemmed from “technical issues” at its Netley Mill water treatment works.

Three stations across the affected region have now been opened so residents can access water.

Pictures from the scene show lines of people – including several elderly – queueing up for water in the heat, drawing the ire of local councillors.

In a statement, Thames Water said: “Our specialist engineers are on site and are working hard to fix the issue as quickly as possible.

“We’ve been using tankers to pump water into the local supply network to help improve the situation.” 

It added: “We know how worrying and disruptive it is to be without water, especially in this hot weather. Thank you for your continued patience while we work to get supplies back to normal.”

Bottle stations have been opened at Cranleigh Leisure Park, Surrey Hills Business Park and Gomshall Village Sports and Social Club.

Liz Townsend, a Surrey County Councillor, commented that she was “so angry to see lots of elderly people looking stressed and worried with no water, queueing up in the heat”.

Jeremy Hunt, MP for South West Surrey, also drew anger after posting pictures with Thames Water CEO Sarah Bentley on the ground as the company works to fix the issue.

Graeme Le Saux, a former Chelsea defender, took aim at the former Tory health minister, reacting: “Another PR stunt Jeremy.

“It is all about you, isn’t it? Whilst people suffer, you happily support mismanaged vital infrastructure.”

Local supermarkets have reportedly been stripped of their bottled water, following Thames Water’s admission it had a “limited” supply.

It comes as vast swathes of England were yesterday (Friday) formally declared in drought.