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Farmers water helpline set up as pipe repairs continue

A special helpline for farmers has been set up by United Utilities as efforts continue to repair a storm-damaged water pipe near Shap.

A dedicated team at the water company is helping farmers to make sure livestock have access to water supplies during the current incident. Already special arrangements have been made for 70 farmers, and any others who need support are being urged to get in touch.

Around 8,000 properties in the Eden Valley are seeing low water pressure or no water today as engineers continue to repair the pipe. Progress was made overnight despite the challenging weather conditions and the new water pipe has been assembled. It is expected to be installed over the next 12 hours.

After the pipe is fully repaired it will take some time for water pressure to build up again in the system, due to the length of the pipe network.  Customers will continue to see no water or poor pressure as the system recovers.  It is possible that some customers may notice some discolouration naturally occurring pipe sediment could be disturbed

A massive tankering operation is underway to pump water supplies directly into the water network.  There are now 46 tankers including several from outside the North West region supporting the effort.

Martin Padley, Water Service Director at United Utilities, said: “Our teams are working around the clock to get this pipe repaired and water supplies back to normal. I want to thank residents who are showing real community spirit in helping each other with the bottled water supplies.

“Our tankering operation is helping to maintain some water supplies and we have drafted in additional tankers from outside the region.  The weather conditions and rural roads are making this especially difficult for driving HGVs and we are grateful for the support of the local council here.

“It is likely to take another three days for water pressure to build again once the repairs are completed.  In the meantime we will continue to run the bottled water stations and work with farmers to get them the extra help they need.”

Residents can collect bottled water and speak to staff from United Utilities at the following locations:

  • Glenridding Village Hall, Penrith, CA11 OQA
  • The Crown Inn, Ivegill, CA4 0PT
  • Shap Memorial Hall, Shap, Penrith CA10 3NL
  • Market Square, Kirkby Stephen, CA17 4QN
  • Moot Hall, Boroughgate, Appleby-in-Westmorland, CA16 6XE
  • Pooley Bridge Village Hall, Pooley Bridge, Penrith, CA10 2NL
  • Greystoke Village Greystoke, Penrith, CA11 0TP
  • Tebay Services (Northbound), Westmorland Place, Orton, CA10 3SB

The helpline for farmers is 0345 072 6071 and all customers can see the latest information about water supplies on United Utilities website.

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