Local News

Water Outage in Shipton Bellinger, Newton Toney & Cholderton: Community Spirit Shines as Pipe Leak Disrupts Supply

Residents in the villages of Shipton Bellinger, Cholderton, and Newton Toney have had no water supply disruptions since Monday, with a brief restoration on Wednesday that was quickly followed by another outage.

The primary water supplier for the area, Cholderton Water, has been working tirelessly to resolve the issue, deploying tankers to top up the reservoir and urging residents to conserve water while they continue their repair efforts.

Despite these efforts, many homes and businesses remain without water or have experienced reduced pressure. Cholderton Water issued a statement explaining that a section of the main pipe that runs through a river had developed a serious leak. In response, specialist contractors installed a bypass with 40 meters of new pipe to divert water around the damaged section, and they are now working to connect this bypass to the main reservoir to restore full functionality.

To help meet the immediate needs of residents, Cholderton Water has arranged for bottled water to be delivered to several locations in Shipton Bellinger and Cholderton. Shipton Bellinger residents can pick up bottled water at The Boot Inn car park, the Community Centre car park, and the Working Men’s Club car park. In Cholderton, bottled water is available at The Crown Inn car park. Additionally, businesses in both villages have had to close temporarily due to the water shortage.

Despite these challenges, Cholderton Water reassured residents that a permanent pump replacement is scheduled for Friday, with minimal disruption expected during installation. In the meantime, they are monitoring reservoir levels closely and bringing in additional tankers to supplement the water supply.

In an update released at 7:30 am today (09/05/2024), Cholderton Water acknowledged that some customers still had no water or only a reduced supply, citing high demand as the reason the reservoir couldn’t keep pace with usage overnight. Additional efforts are underway to stabilize the situation, including the deployment of an additional pump to increase reservoir levels quickly.

Residents are encouraged to use water sparingly and await further updates from Cholderton Water as they continue to work on a permanent solution. The company has also ordered more pallets of bottled water to be distributed across both villages to ensure residents have access to clean drinking water during this challenging time.

Amid the ongoing water supply issues, residents of Shipton Bellinger, Cholderton, and Newton Toney have shown remarkable community spirit, stepping up to support one another through the crisis. Neighbours have been checking on vulnerable residents, sharing resources, and providing transportation for those in need of bottled water. The sense of camaraderie and cooperation has been a beacon of hope during a challenging time, demonstrating that even in the face of adversity, the people in these villages are united and willing to lend a helping hand.

The water outage has also affected education in the area, with the local school having to close due to the lack of water. The closure disrupted the routines of students, parents, and teachers, causing inconvenience as families scrambled to make alternate arrangements. The school’s closure is indicative of the wider impact the water crisis has had on the community, affecting both daily life and essential services. School administrators are in close communication with Cholderton Water to ensure that students can return to their studies as soon as the water supply is fully restored.

The water outage has also impacted local businesses, with The Crown Inn, a pub in Cholderton, having to close its doors due to the disruption. The closure comes at a particularly inopportune time, as the pub had anticipated a busy week with sunny weather drawing in more customers. The water shortage forced the pub to cancel reservations and turn away guests, leading to a significant loss of revenue. The Crown Inn hopes to reopen soon, but this unexpected setback has been a blow to both the business and its staff, who rely on steady patronage.