Villagers left without water to receive £100 compensation

Upset Bolney residents when they were left without water. Picture: Steve Robards
Upset Bolney residents when they were left without water. Picture: Steve Robards

South East Water has reassured its customers in Bolney and Warninglid who were left without water during the cold snap that they will receive £100 compensation.

Tracy Green, 42, who lives in Bolney with her husband Shane, 43, and their five children, aged six to 19, told the Middy she and other residents in the village received a letter from South East Water advising that they would receive £50 compensation.

But she said on South East Water’s website it states that customers without water for three days, would get £100.

She said: “Our water went off on the Saturday (March 3), and came back on Tuesday evening (March 6), in my mind that is three days. We went to South East Water to tell them they had made a mistake.

“When we were without water, everyone was given a different story, not one person was told the same thing, so there were so many contradictions.

“It is not that we wanted all the water we just wanted a share of it. We have elderly people in the village. We have just been so unhappy and upset about the whole situation. It is not the fact that it happened, as these things happen, it is just how it has all been dealt with.

“And this just came as another thing – to find out that Thames was offering its customers £150 too – it was just a bit of an insult.”

In a statement South East Water’s head of central Operations, Steve Andrews said: “We are sorry to our customers in Bolney and Warninglid whose drinking water supplies were interrupted as a result of the extreme weather.

“Based on feedback from customers and by analysing our flow, pressure and contact data we have been able to confirm some customers in Bolney and Warninglid were impacted for a longer period than our initial calculations.

“These areas will now receive £100 compensation due to the length of time their supply was interrupted.

“Customers do not need to take any action as the additional credit will automatically be applied to their account. A revised letter to those customers impacted will be issued shortly.

“We had prepared for the weather, but the extraordinary combination of a very low temperatures followed by a rapid thaw put additional pressure on the network and increased the scale of the issues we faced.

“In just five days we fixed 550 leaks, which is more than 10 times the normal amount. We are continuing to monitor our system very closely and still have additional resources locating and repairing leaks.

“Our customers can help us by checking their own pipework for leaks and bursts and also by telling us if they spot a leak while out and about.”