Bottled water issued after mains water pipe bursts

Written by Scott Campbell, Cumbernauld Media's Senior Reporter.

Published at 15:25 on 3 September 2015


Forest Rd is closed as work continues. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media. 

SELECT business premises and households in Cumbernauld are starting to see their water supply return slowly but surely, after a mains pipe burst earlier today (3rd September).

The first complaints of low pressure and no water supply at all started to be made at around 5am this morning, with the discovery of a burst 30 inch water main in Abronhill half an hour later. 

In a statement released at 7.30am, a spokesperson for Scottish Water confirmed that, “A burst water main has been located at Forest Road in Cumbernauld customers here may experience loss of water supply, low pressure, and discoloured water.

“A squad will be on site shortly to carry out the necessary repairs and will restore supplies as soon as possible,” they added.

The mains pipe was 4 to 5 metres down. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.

The burst main went on to cause heavy disruption to some rail services, with a statement from Network Rail Scotland this morning explaining: “a burst pipe… is discharging water onto railway between Camelon and Cumbernauld.

“We'll continue to monitor the water level and will work with Scotrail to manage services through area. Some delays and/or cancellations are possible,” the company’s statement said, shortly before ScotRail advised passengers that some services “may be altered” as a result of the burst pipe.

Rail services only started to get back on track after mid-day, once Network Rail engineers had cleared “spoil washed from the embankment off the line,” according to the company’s spokesperson.

While roads were closed and bus routes were also diverted, schools seem to have fared better off, with North Lanarkshire Council opting to keep all schools in the area open, including Kildrum Nursery – which had been set to close this afternoon.

Engineers on site, this afternoon. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.

The community’s libraries were also affected by the burst pipe, with Culture NL forced to announce this morning that two of their libraries near to the burst will not open.

“Due to a burst water main in the Cumbernauld area both Cumbernauld and Abronhill libraries will be closed.  Condorrat will be open as normal,” a spokesperson announced earlier today.

At 1pm, New College Lanarkshire closed the doors to their Cumbernauld Campus, announcing that all classes for today, including evening classes, are “cancelled”.

Network Rail had to stop services. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.

As work continues and engineers try to restore regular water supplies to all businesses, homes and schools affected by the burst, Scottish Water say that no “timescale” of repairs is available.

The firm has instead made bottled water available for collection from a retail park near to where the burst pipe is located.

“Some customers in parts of Cumbernauld are experiencing a loss of normal water supply, low water pressure or discoloured water due to a burst on a 30 inch water main in Forrest Road, Abronhill,” a spokesperson for Scottish Water said.

“While engineers work to restore supplies to affected properties, Scottish Water is doing all it can to minimise inconvenience to customers and is making bottled water available at a collection point at the premises of Polygon UK, Cumbernauld Business Park, Wardpark Road, Cumbernauld G67 3JZ,” they explained.

A replacement pipe arrived earlier. Picture: Scott Campbell for Cumbernauld Media.

The company’s spokesperson went to “stress” that the “bottled water is intended only for customers whose normal water supplies are affected and is urging those whose supplies are not affected not to take bottled water,” explaining that “engineers are continuing their work to restore normal supplies to affected properties in the G67 postcode area as quickly as possible” in the meantime.

They added: “They are doing so by using backfeeds to introduce water supplies from other parts of the network while the repair work is under way.

“The burst has caused some localised disruption, including the closure of Forrest Road, and is affecting services on the Cumbernauld railway line.

“Scottish Water apologises for the inconvenience to affected customers and can assure them we are doing everything we can to restore normal supplies as quickly as possible and to minimise any inconvenience. We thank affected customers for their patience and understanding.”

Criticisms are that the point is too far away. Picture: courtesy of Bill Henry.
For some residents, however, reaching Wardpark is too far a stretch, and those with families or nor transport of their own have been complaining about what they see as the "poor planning" undertaken by Scottish Water.

Responding to those allegations, a spokesperson for Scottish Water merely stated that "We [Scottish Water] are looking into the location of the collection point at the moment."

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