Thousands of people are without water, or have low pressure, after a water main fractured in the early hours.
Bristol Water said the burst on Royate Hill was affecting six postcode areas and it is distributing bottled water.
It said the repair was “trickier than first thought” but engineers had restored supplies to some people by rerouting the network.
At 15:30 BST Bristol Water said some 800 homes in the Whitehall area were still without supply.
Two tankers arrived at Bristol and West Athletics Club in Whitehall and people are asked to bring their own containers.
A spokesman said there was plenty of water to go around and people should maintain a social distance while queuing.
He added anyone on the water priority service register should have been contacted and anyone who has not should contact customer services.
The burst was detected at about 04:30 BST affecting BS5, BS6, BS7, BS9 BS15 and BS16 areas and the utility firm sent a “large team” of workers to fix it.
“It was a large burst and is requiring a lot of work to get the repair done but most of the affected area should be back to normal within the next few hours thanks to network changes we’ve managed to make,” a spokesperson for Bristol Water said.
“We’re still working to ensure water supply to the remaining places.”
Royate Hill, under the railway bridge, is expected to be closed “for some time” while the repairs take place.
‘Recipe for disaster’
Some people took to social media to complain about the loss of supply.
One of those, Lorraine Williams, said she was on the “vulnerable” list and had no water to take her medication, adding the response “wasn’t good enough”.
Others expressed concern about people turning up in the same area at the same time being “a recipe for disaster” in light of the current coronavirus pandemic.
While others suggested the council and water company use volunteers to help distribute bottled water to those on the government’s shielding list.