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Water supplies start to return after thousands left without in Surrey

Pallets of water waiting for collection
Pallets of water were waiting for collection on Monday morning

Water was returning to customers after a technical issue at a treatment works left thousands without.

A major incident was declared after people had to queue for bottled water in a Guildford car park after supplies went off on Saturday.

The issue had affected up to 12,000 people and businesses in Surrey.

Thames Water said the plant was back online with water returning to half of affected customers. It had faced issues after Storm Ciarán, it said.

The supplier said it expected supplies to resume for remaining customers overnight and into Tuesday.

It repeated its apology to those in affected postcodes including: GU1, GU2, GU3, GU5, GU6, GU7 and GU8.

The county's Local Resilience Forum declared a major incident on Sunday.

Bottled water stations in Guildford at Crown Court car park, Artinton car park and at Sainsbury's in Clay Lane shut at 21:00 GMT but were expected to reopen on Tuesday.

"We'd like to thank our customers for their patience during this time and we're very sorry to residents who are still experiencing no water or low pressure," Thames Water said.

"Tankers remain in the area to pump water into the local supply network and we continue to deliver bottled water to customers who are on our priority services register."

'Clearly failing'

Waverley Borough Council leader Paul Follows previously criticised the communication of Thames Water, telling BBC Breakfast that trying to get "basic information" from the water company had been a "challenge".

A number of schools were affected with Godalming College, Godalming Junior School and Rodborough School in Milford all closing to some degree.

A bottles water station taking a delivery of water
Customers have been lining up at bottled water stations for emergency supplies

Among customers affected was Alice Poole from Farncombe, who said her water went off on Sunday morning.

She said they managed to find bottled water but had two small boys at home who had been out playing football getting grubby and she had another small child who had been sick overnight and they needed to wash sheets.

David Bird, retail director at Thames Water, told the BBC the company had 28 tankers, 24 hours a day, bringing supplies to local hospitals and others, with vulnerable customers receiving water before the outage impacted them.

The company said it would continue to update customers via its website.

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