Chirnside residents left without water after burst pipes

More than 11,000 litres of bottled water were delivered to Chirnside on Sunday when taps ran dry in the village after a pipe burst near Edrom.

Residents were without running water all day, from the early hours of Sunday morning (April 3).

The water supply was back on Sunday night but by Monday afternoon residents were again cut off following a second burst pipe in two days.

A spokesman for Scottish Water said that all properties were originally returned to supply on Sunday evening, an hour and a half ahead of schedule, after engineers repaired a burst nine-inch water main near Edrom.

He said: “Locating the burst was made especially difficult by its remote location in the middle of a field in the Briery Hill area.”

The spokesman said the burst had affected customers in high lying areas of Chirnside.

“Scottish Water operatives delivered around 11,000 litres of bottled water to key locations within this area, as well as taking water directly to those customers with additional needs,” he continued.

“Unfortunately, residents in Chirnside experienced a second burst in the water supply network on Monday. This can happen every so often when water hasn’t been going through a pipe and then it’s run through again.

“We would like to take this opportunity to apologise for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

He added: “This section of main is shortly to be replaced as part of a multi-million pounds programme to improve more than a hundred miles of water mains throughout Berwickshire.”

Some Chirnside mums first noticed that there was no water on Sunday morning when they tried to fill vases for flowers they had been given for Mothers’ Day.

And the lack of water affected what should have been a roaring Mother’s Day trade, with local eateries usually enjoying a busy day. “It was terrible,” said Robert Donaldson of The Robins Nest on Main Street. “I serve food and I have the hotel as well so people couldn’t get showers or anything. I’d say we were certainly quieter because of it.”

Roy Garden, chair of Chirnside Community Council, said that communication with Scottish Water had been a problem. “The water was off at 8.30am in the morning. They didn’t update their messages so people didn’t really get a lot of information,” Mr Garden said. “But they have a free phone number.

“The rumour or advice was that it was going to be back on by 1pm, but when that didn’t happen I spoke to them on the telephone. They delivered some water to Crosshill at about 3 o’clock on Sunday - all in all they did a reasonable job.

“There was another little glitch on Monday but that didn’t last too long. Some parts of the village were reporting low pressure and coloured water, which of course you always get after the water has been off.”

He added: “As a community council we may speak to Scottish Water about having multiple drops of bottled water in future. The centre of the village, while it’s easy for them to deliver to, takes a wee while to get to from the east end - it’s up hill all the way!”

Scottish Water are due to replace the effected pipe before the summer as part of a major programme to replace and clean more than 100 miles of water mains in Berwickshire.