Message from South East Water (19.12.22)

Despite being faced with an incredibly fast moving and challenging situation, our staff has been doing everything possible today (19 December) to get water restored to our customers who are without a supply.


As mentioned in our earlier update, the snow and ice rapidly thawed which resulted in a 300 per cent increase in the number of bursts than normal both on our supply pipes and on our customers’ pipes.


This in turn increased demand resulting in an extra 100 million litres of water leaving our treatment works in just 24 hours. This is the equivalent of adding almost three towns the size of Maidstone or Eastbourne to our network overnight.


Usually, once treated, this water is piped to our clean water storage tanks while it waits to be pumped to customers’ taps. Due to the high number of bursts, the water shot straight out of these tanks at a very fast rate leaving them at a very low level or empty.

Today we have been concentrating on finding and fixing the very large leaks on our network which have been causing major issues and as a result these clean water storage tanks should start to refill to a level overnight where we can again supply water to our customers affected.


Thank you for helping to get out the message asking people who have water to restrict their use and for business owners to check on any premises that are empty that may have burst pipes. We are also grateful to farmers for checking their troughs in fields for leaks.

While this situation continues are bottled water stations will reopen tomorrow at:


  • Tesco Superstore, Woodgate Corner, Pembury, Tunbridge Wells, TN2 4NE
  • East Grinstead Rugby Football Club, The Gearon Pavilion, Saint Hill Rd, East Grinstead RH19 4JU.


We have been working on setting up additional bottled water stations and we will update our website as soon as they open tomorrow.

Bottled water is continuing to be delivered to those highest priority customers on our Priority Services Register. For more information on this service, please visit

You and your communities can find the latest information here as well as details of what’s happening more locally, here.

We would be very grateful if you could share this information among your networks including the local social media groups.


I will send a further update tomorrow morning.

Douglas Whitfield
Incident Director

South East Water