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Pipe burst in Baxenden field causes water shortage

Two schools were forced to close all day due to a lack of water

United Utilities. Picture by Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Water bosses have apologised to customers after a large water mains burst caused water shortages.

Hollins Technology College in Accrington and Baxenden St John’s primary school were forced to close for the whole of Wednesday because of a lack of water.

Christina Regan, headteacher of St John’s, said the schools made a joint decision to close shortly after 8am.

She told the Observer: “There was a burst pipe found in the middle of the night. The caretaker was in early and alerted me to the fact that there was a problem.

“They brought the water tankers to substitute the water that had been lost as back-up, but we were all going to be on low pressure.

“I came into school really early, ran around and spoke to the workmen but then they had to switch the water off.

“We only had a small window to make a decision before everybody sets off for schools.

Baxenden St John's primary school. Picture from Google Street View.

“Hollins and myself coordinated the decision at around 8.10am and that was the best we could do.

"Normally we would try to do it sooner but we had to take everything into consideration.”

She said they made the decision to close taking into account the “welfare” of their pupils.

She added: “I chatted to the men on site and spoke to United Utilities but we had to think about our children, cooking lunches, toilet on low pressure and the hot water tank.

"We are hoping to be open on Thursday as normal. It’s what we’ve been promised but you never know.”

A statement on the Hollins website said: “Unfortunately we are closed today. We have no water supply. We fully expect to be open tomorrow.”

United Utilities were called to the area off Southwood Drive and Shop Lane in Baxenden at around 3.30am on Wednesday, November 29.

A spokesperson said: “We’ve located a burst on one of our large water pipes supplying the Baxenden area of Accrington.

“The burst is in a field just off Southwood Drive and is affecting water supplies in the area.

"We’ve sent seven of our water on wheels tankers to the area so the majority of customers should now have their water back on but some customers may still be experiencing no water or poor pressure.

“We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may be causing our customers and will try to get the repairs done as quickly as we can.”

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