Residents in parts of Carmarthenshire have been left without a water supply for a number of days following disruption to mains supplies following a cold snap of weather.
Areas including Cynwyl Elfed, Saron and Hermon are being supplied with bottled water. Dwr Cymru has apologised and said that they are doing their best to restore a supply.
MP for Ceredigion Ben Lake said:
“I have just spoken with Dwr Cymru Welsh Water regarding the ongoing disruption to the county’s water supply. They explain that there has been a threefold increase in burst mains compared to normal, due to the ground moving as it thawed following the recent freezing temperature.
“A full emergency response team has been mobilised to deal with the situation, and more than 750 Welsh Water staff are out working to find and fix leaks as quickly as possible across west Wales. It also appears that the work to identify leaks was made difficult yesterday due to the heavy rain. Through the use of water tankers 25% more water has been added to the system in Ceredigion, and it is hoped that this will re-pressurise the network in many areas today to bring more households onto supply. At this stage they are unable to confirm when all supplies will be returned, but I shall let you know as soon as I have an update on the progress of this work.
“Welsh Water are aware that the bottled water stations in Llandysul and Newcastle Emlyn have run out of supplies, and have arranged for further supplies to be delivered. However, it may take a few hours for the deliveries to arrive. They are also considering additional bottled water stations in the area, but I shall let you know as soon as I know further details.”
Some have taken to social media to criticise Welsh Water, specifically the emergency helpline. Some have also praised the engineers who have been working in atrocious conditions to try and restore a supply.
Owner of the Afon Duad Inn in Cwm Duad said:
“I am now about to close our business for the third day and have no update on how long this will go on.
“I also contacted our MP as well as many others but no response. There are vulnerable people cut off without access to fresh supplies, the water stations are miles away and are often without. Schools are closed, businesses are closed and whilst most people can understand that the problem is great and cannot be easily fixed, it is difficult to understand why communication is poor, water is not being made available in more areas and why service level is being ignored.”
Richard Dix said: “Nobody doubts the effort that is going on to restore the many burst pipes by the engineers and very grateful we are. But my questions to Dwr Cymru would be, where has the public communication been. We need to be well informed so that we can plan as best one can for the period of outage. This applies to domestic homes, businesses and Care Homes etc. Also given the recent bout of cold weather why has it just been this part of Wales that has had ‘ground movement, thawing etc’ and not other areas as well? (Not that I’m wishing any area such issues) my point being it seems our local infrastructure has failed miserably compared to other areas in the Country. Why?”
Jenny Phillips said: “We haven’t been told anything from welsh water , just what we read on Facebook. Disgraceful.”
Peter Perry CEO said they had around 4,000 properties without a supply and that they were expending every effort to get people back with water. He said that sub zero temperatures following a rapid thaw saw ground movement which caused a huge number of bursts on the network. He said that there were also a lot of bursts on privately owner pipelines on farms etc, and that he would ask customers to do all they can to shut off any leaking pipes. The CEO said that at the same time Welsh Water will fix as many of the leaks as they can. He said they were putting in additional resources and were working around the clock to sustain that.
Mr Perry said that Welsh Water have handed out nearly 50,000 bottles to customers and they were looking to replenish those supplies. He said that customers should check outside taps and shut off any leaks and to call Welsh Water if you see a leak via the website.
He said: “In West Wales with the scale of the issue we are dealing with at the moment we are talking about the close of business on Tuesday 20th December.”