Faulty valve leaves thousands without water in Bedfordshire

image captionResidents had to queue up to 45 minutes for bottled water being handed out at a local supermarket

Residents have been queuing for bottled water after thousands of homes were left without supplies on Friday evening due to a faulty valve.

At its peak about 12,000 properties in Leighton Buzzard, Toddington, Hockliffe and surrounding areas were affected.

Up to 2,000 homes in Bedfordshire are still without water and residents have been queuing for up to 45 minutes at a nearby supermarket for bottles.

Anglian Water handed out the bottles and was working to restore supplies.

Local resident Maria Power said: "The situation is disgraceful it should have been resolved by now."

"I'm angry at the water company that they are going to leave people without water for nearly 48 hours," she told the PA news agency.

'Air pocket'

The valve was fixed on Saturday evening but properties in Leighton Linslade are still without water because of air in the system, Anglian Water said.

The firm apologised and warned that water was unlikely to return to the areas until Monday afternoon.

One resident said shops in the area had run out of bottled water.

image captionAnglian Water said 12,000 properties in Bedfordshire were without water at one point

Anglian Water said customers who were in its "priority list", such as elderly people or families with young children, had been delivered bottled water.

It said engineers were installing an overland pipe to bypass the airlocked water main.

Regan Harris, from the company, said: "Most of our customers will be coming back to water soon.

"There is an area on the northern part of Leighton Buzzard where people may be without water for a little while longer due to an air pocket."

Conservative MP for Leighton Buzzard Andrew Selous said queues have "dropped down and everyone got their allocation".

Mr Selous tweeted that "many customers supportive given what a complex issue Anglian Water dealing with."

image source, Anglian Water
image captionA map shows areas where water supply has been affected

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