Work to repair a burst water main could take days as water supplies return to normal across Bristol this morning. Bristol Water have begun a major operation which could see one road closed until early next week.
Thousands of homes had their water supply interrupted, with people reporting either no water, a big drop in pressure or brown water coming from the taps from Ashton Gate, Southville, Bedminster, Totterdown, Brislington, the city centre, Clifton, Redland and Easton. Bristol Water said it was impossible to put a figure on the number of homes affected, but supplies were restored to most places by tea-time, and everyone’s water was back on by the end of the day yesterday.
Bristol Water are having to dig out and replace the huge 30-inch trunk main, which collapsed close to the Brunel Way flyover in Ashton Gate yesterday lunchtime. Many roads were closed overnight but now just the exit slip road off the southbound Brunel Way onto the eastbound A370 House Road that becomes Coronation Road. It is expected to reopen by Tuesday (Oct 18) or Wednesday (Oct 19).
Workers from Bristol Water this morning began the huge task of digging out the tree-lined bank between Brunel Way and the Ashton Avenue sewage pumping station to get access to the water main that is deep beneath the ground. They had to cut down at least one tree to clear the area which yesterday firefighters cordoned off, fearing the force of the water surging up from underground would make the bank and trees unstable.
Lorry loads of soil are being excavated and left on the side of the slip road, before Bristol Water can reach the broken water main, which carries water from south to north under the river on the western side of Bristol.
The torrent of water flooded the Jessop underpass, and claimed one vehicle as its driver was suddenly faced with a flood coming down the sliproad towards them. That car was removed later yesterday, and the road was cleared of water to be reopened first thing this morning, Friday.
On Friday morning, there was still a small lake remaining of standing water in Greville Smyth Park, where the water that gushed out of the burst water main ultimately flowed, but much of the park was still a very wet marsh, with debris and mud strewn across it, putting Sunday’s Ashton Boys and Ashton Girls football matches in doubt.
A spokesperson for Bristol Water said there would still be delays ongoing today, because of the road closure. “We’re still working hard to locate the leak and repair as quickly as possible,” they said. “We’ve been able to get Jessop Underpass re-opened early this morning however; Clift House Road remains closed. If your journey takes you near this road and our work please allow for extra time on your morning travels or where possible use an alternative route to avoid delays in your journey.
“You may still be experiencing some air in your supply or find your water is discoloured this morning. In this instance, please run your taps until the water runs clear for a maximum of 30 minutes. If it still doesn’t run clear, please wait an hour and repeat the process. Thank you for your continued patience,” they added.
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