Families have been compelled to flush their toilets with snow and wash their dishes with collected rainwater.
Homes in the south of England, including Hampshire, Sussex, and Kent, have been damaged by burst pipes caused by subzero temperatures.
One father with a child described the scenario as “absolutely terrible” and stated that his Christmas preparations were ruined.
Yesterday, there were lengthy lines at a bottled water station in Eastleigh, Hampshire.
Residents have been using bottled water for cooking, washing, and even toilet flushing.
Rob Barber from Southampton reported on the Today show on BBC Radio 4 that his home lost water’suddenly’ on Wednesday afternoon.
He stated, “I have a small family at home, including a newborn who is still in diapers, and not being able to flush a toilet so close to Christmas is a terrible circumstance to be in.”
If we don’t see an end in sight, we’ll have to seriously consider whether or not to spend Christmas at home.
Four water stations containing bottled water have been established in the affected area, with daily hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
However, yesterday there were reports that bottled water supplies were running low at one station, and there were large lines of people waiting to get it.
Mr. Barber said, “From what I gather, Southern Water ran out of water at some of these stations and had to close to refill.
There was a one-hour delay at one of the stations, which is obviously awful.
Angie Perkins from Tunbridge Wells stated that the water had been sporadic and off since December 15th.
She, along with thousands of others, has gathered water from bottled water stations set up in the region to shower and wash, while her neighbors have resorted to using snow to flush their toilets.
She stated on BBC Radio 4: ‘Everyone is quite anxious about the Christmas issue.
Everyone has contingency plans, plan Bs. I was going to host Christmas for eight people at my home.
Yesterday, vehicles waited in lengthy lines to purchase bottled water.
Southern Water stated that there would be a limited water supply for at least 48 hours as they were under’significant pressure’ due to burst pipes caused by rapid thawing from recent low temperatures.
A few days before Christmas, it is believed that at least 24,000 households are impacted by poor water pressure or no water at all.
In the affected districts, emergency water stations have been established, and the water supplier has offered to deliver water to those who are unable to obtain it.
This station was established because two water collecting locations in Winchester were too distant for some Southampton residents to travel.
Southern Water’s chief operating officer, Bob Collington, stated, “We are currently experiencing substantial pressure on our water supply in parts of Hampshire due to a variety of causes, including leaks caused by the recent “freeze/thaw” incident.
This has caused the demand for water to exceed the capacity of our water treatment facilities to keep the taps running.
“We have worked hard to resolve this issue by repairing leaks and stabilizing supplies, but in the last 24 hours we have had to make the painful choice to decrease supply in order to preserve vital infrastructure in Hampshire, such as hospitals.
This means that a considerable number of residences are without water or have low pressure, and the situation is expected to persist at least through Friday.
We are continue to supply bottled water to our most needy customers.
Additionally, bottled water kiosks are available throughout the region.
We very regret the disturbance and annoyance this causes, especially in the days leading up to Christmas.
We are exerting every effort to restore full service by Sunday.
Ofwat, which governs the industry, stated: ‘Freezing temperatures followed by a rapid thaw have resulted in broken pipes and water supply problems.
We require water companies to stand up, respond immediately, and offer help and compensation where necessary during a difficult time.