Page last updated at 10:30 GMT, Thursday, 6 May 2010 11:30 UK

Record mains bursts for Southern Water after winter

Snow in the south east of England
The south of England endured the coldest winter for 31 years

A record number of mains bursts, wasting millions of litres of water, were dealt with by Southern Water after the worst winter in 31 years.

The company, which supplies water to Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, said it had nearly 1,000 bursts in December, January and February.

Round-the-clock work by repair teams ensured supplies were maintained and limited the amount of water lost.

It said water resources were now back to normal after the 65% rise in bursts.

Southern Water added that subsequent wet weather had seen all four reservoirs in the region now full, with natural underground water reserves above average for this time of year.

Colin Harley, director of regulation and competition, said: "The winter was exceptionally harsh with the big freeze fracturing mains at an alarming rate.

"This caused large amounts of water to be wasted but we are now back on track with our reservoirs in a healthy position for the summer."

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