ELDERLY people living near Witney have been without water for most of the heatwave this week.

The water at Kingsgate, in Cote Road, Aston, stopped working on Monday (18) due to a burst pipe and issues with a pressure valve.

Residents in the retirement complex were worried about becoming dehydrated during the heatwave, which saw temperatures ride as high as 37°C, as all the nearby shops and garages had sold out of bottled water.

READ MORE: Elderly people left without water in a heatwave

Richard Hubbert, who has lived in the complex for about 25 years, said he called Thames Water to ask for “emergency water bottles” but they “never arrived”.

He said: “It’s quite worrying as hydration is incredibly important and we have quite a few people here that it will cause an issue for if someone doesn’t help us soon.”

Thames Water said the customers should see their water return on Monday morning but the pressure started to climb in the afternoon leading engineers to find the burst.

As a result, the water didn’t turn on until 9pm but Mr Hubbert claimed residents were not able to use the water for 24 hours due to “a potential contamination”.

Speaking yesterday (19), he said: “We managed to get 32 bottles of water in Oxford but we have to borrow it among us until tomorrow (20) because the burst could have contaminated the water.

READ MORE: Burst pipe in Witney fixed - but water supplies still affected

“I called Thames Water to ask where the emergency water was but it just never showed up.”

Thames Water have apologised for the “low pressure or no water” customers experienced.

Other people living in Witney had their water supplies returned to normal on Monday (18) after they too were impacted by supply issues over the weekend.

On Saturday (July 16), burst pipe near Witney that left hundreds of households without water or with low pressure. 

The affected pipe had been feeding an underground reservoir in Worsham, between Witney and Burford. Water levels in the reservoir were starting to rise, but it was not yet full enough for Thames Water to restart its pumps. As a result, supplies for some households were still affected.

READ MORE: RAF stops flights at its Brize Norton air base as 'runway has melted'

A bottled water station was open for around two hours at Burford School. It opened after 7pm – 11 hours after the leak was first reported off New Mill Lane, Witney – and shut at 9pm.

Thames Water engineers worked through the night to fix the 18-inch pipe but supplies did not return to normal until late Sunday evening (17). 

Meanwhile, a decision was made to stop flights at RAF Brize Norton on Monday (18) morning as the hot weather “melted the runway”.

The flights were still cancelled throughout yesterday (19) as runways can be deemed unsafe when the tarmac becomes sticky under the sun.


Read more from this author

This story was written by Gee Harland, she joined the team in 2022 as a senior multimedia reporter.

Gee covers Wallingford, Wantage and Didcot.

Get in touch with her by emailing: Gee.harland@newsquest.co.uk

Follow her on Twitter @Geeharland

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