London's Cold Snap Left 20000 Homes Without Running Water

Households warned to use less water due to shortage

A spokesman said: "The issue has been caused by the extreme weather over the past few days and the subsequent thaw which has put extreme pressure on the complex underground system of 9,000 miles of pipes which takes drinking water from treatment works into homes".

Ian Limb of Portsmouth Water said: 'Bursts have always been a risk when there are sudden rises in temperature which causes ground movements regardless whether they are plastic or cast iron pipes.

Residents of some parts of London and the South East said they had been without water for more than 24 hours by Sunday night, with little indication of when supplies would return.

Auto maker Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) also halted production at a vehicle plant near Birmingham so that water supplier Severn Trent could direct water to schools and hospitals in order to keep them open.

Thames Water has faced criticism for resorting to handing out bottled water to customers, after up to 20,000 properties in London and the Thames valley were left without water.

"I have sought assurances from Thames Water that they are doing everything possible to fix the problems & get the supply switched back on as soon as possible for everyone".

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Companies also asked that customers check their pipes for bursts and call a plumber if necessary, explaining that outdoor taps were especially vulnerable.

At a supermarket in London's south, Thames Water employees distributed crates of bottled water to a queue of people whose homes had their water cut off following the bad weather.

The end to freezing temperatures across the United Kingdom has left thousands of homes and businesses without access to running water.

An appeal has gone out from South East Water for people to help find leaks both inside their homes, on business premises and out in streets and fields.

A tweet from the Dunraven School in Lambeth said: "We'd hoped things would have been resolved by now".

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