Nottingham

Severn Trent admits Epperstone sinkhole failings

4X4 gets stuck in a sinkhole in Epperstone Image copyright Thomas Hall
Image caption The burst water main caused a sinkhole to open up in Epperstone

A water company has admitted it did not deal "well enough" with a sinkhole and burst main which left up to 20,000 homes without water.

The breach in Epperstone, Nottinghamshire, left homes without running water for more than 12 hours.

Nottinghamshire County Council said its offer of help was turned down by Severn Trent Water (STW).

Water supplies were returned to all areas, including Bingham and Radcliffe-on-Trent, by about midnight on Sunday.

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Jonathan Smith of STW said: "There's learning opportunities for us here, we don't think we did well enough for our customers throughout all of this.

"We did get bottles of water out to our most vulnerable customers, like nursing homes, [but] we thought we could get people back on more quickly than we could get water supplies to them".

Image caption The car could only be recovered from the sinkhole once the waters had receded

Sally Hall, who was driving through Epperstone on Sunday morning, described how her "car was sucked across the road" into the sinkhole.

Councillor Alan Rhodes, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council, said the authority was ready to help the affected areas but was told it was not needed.

"The county council offered its services to Severn Trent and we were told we weren't required," Mr Rhodes said.

"We could well have helped to make sure vulnerable householders were catered for; we could have helped with any evacuations.

"But we were told none of that was required".

Mike Godwin, who lives in Bingham, said residents were left without information and had to buy water for people in need.

"Thankfully we've got a Facebook group in Bingham that helps and really it was only through that that people knew what was going on" he said.

Mr Godwin has now asked Newark & Bingham MP Robert Jenrick to review STW's response.

Image caption Streets were left under water after the pipe burst

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