THOUSANDS of households, schools and businesses have been affected by a water leak in the Ribble Valley today.

Several schools were forced to close after the leak, in Slaidburn Road, Waddington, left properties with no water, or a trickle, United Utilities said.

Mark Donaghy, spokesman for United Utilities, said: “We’re really sorry for any problems this burst has caused today. We’re moving quickly to get water back to customers’ taps and hope the situation will be back to normal very shortly.”

“A 15-inch PVC pipe burst near Slaidburn Road, in Waddington, in the early hours of the morning, which caused a loss of water, or low pressure, to customers across Clitheroe, Chatburn and Barrow.

“Engineers have been carefully manoeuvring water around the burst.

“They need to move the water very slowly to try and avoid pressure issues, which can cause further leaks.

“Customers should notice their water returning this morning thanks to this “rezoning” of supplies and it is hoped the repair will be finished by early evening. A 6m length of pipe will replace the damaged section.

“United Utilities is also using tankers to fill reservoirs which serve rural villages in the area, to help keep taps flowing.

“There is a chance customers may notice their water is slightly discoloured at first. They should run the nearest cold tap to their stop-cock at a trickle until clears.”

Repairs to the pipe should be completed by this evening. A six metre length of pipe will replace the damaged section.

Lancashire Telegraph:

Bottles of water and tankers were sent to the Ribble Valley. The tankers will be used to fill nearby reservoirs.

Residents who notice their water is discoloured should run the closest tap to the stop cock at a trickle until it clears, United Utilities said.

Closed Ribble Valley schools: Barrow Primary School, Chatburn C of E Primary School, St James’ CE Primary School, Brookside Primary School, Pendle Primary School, Clitheroe Royal Grammar School (open to students taking external exams).