‘Beast from the East’ results in busy week for Essex-based Water Direct

A Water Direct lorry at work during the recent cold snap.

A Water Direct lorry at work during the recent cold snap. - Credit: Archant

An emergency water supply company based in Essex has reported the busiest week in its 22-year history in the wake of the “Beast from the East” and “Storm Emma”.

Water Direct, which is based at Earls Colne, mobilised more than 200 truckloads of drinking water in the seven days up to March 9 as the big freeze and the rapid thaw which followed led to burst water mains across much of Britain.

The operation involved pumping more than 7m litres of water and delivering an additional 4m litres of bottled water – enough to provide 10 litres of water to 66,000 people every day.

Company spokesman Sven Parris said: “For the first time in Water Direct’s history, we were called on by almost all of our contracted customers simultaneously across the country to provide emergency alternative supplies.

“We provided significant volumes of bottled water via designated water collection points, mobilised drinking water tankers to pump directly into the mains and reservoirs to help restore supply, and pressurised mains so that leaks could be found and repaired.”


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Alongside the UK’s only nationwide bottled water bank, Water Direct operates a fleet of dedicated drinking water-only tankers as well as regularly maintained water storage tanks, which enabled immediate deployment nationwide.

“Water supply problems can have a serious impact on those with medical needs, for example, dialysis, or the elderly,” added Mr Parris.

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“Our quality assured water and rapid response were paramount to those affected by the rapid thaw. We were quick to arrange doorstep deliveries to vulnerable customers and are very proud that our service played a part in reducing the impact on many household water customers as well as keeping businesses running.”

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