SCHOOLS closed and thousands of homes across Finedon and Irthlingborough were affected by a burst water main.
The problem pipe in Harrowden Lane, Finedon, caused chaos for thousands of people living in the two towns yesterday.
The incident was reported to the water authority, Anglian Water, at about 6am.
Shortly afterwards five schools announced they would not be able to open as a result.
Finedon Infant School, Finedon Mulso CEVA Junior School, Huxlow Science College, Irthlingborough Junior School and Irthlingborough Nursery and Infant School were all forced to contact pupils and tell them they had to stay at home for the day.
People living in and around Mulso Road, Finedon, were without water all morning, while others living in Regent Street and Alexander Close were left with low water pressure.
A spokesman for Anglian Water said they didn’t know exactly how many homes had been without water as a result of the burst main, but most people in the area had experienced some issues.
The spokesman added: “The burst water main was reported to us at 6am on Wednesday.
“It would have affected the whole Finedon and Irhtlingborough area.
“Some homes would have had no water use, some would have had low water pressure and some would have had no water for intermittent periods.
“Our staff were on the scene as quickly as possible, and the water was back on by 1pm.
“We apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
All of the shops in Finedon were reported to have sold out of bottled water by about midday yesterday
Donna Zeller, duty manager of Finedon Co-op, said: “A lot of people came in to buy bottles of water.
“The shop itself was not affected.”
The homes hit by having low water pressure, or no water at all, appeared to be confined to one end of Irthlingborough.
Irthlingborough councillor Bob Nightingale, who is a governor at Irthlingborough Junior School and Huxlow Science College, said: “The schools had to be closed for health and safety reasons.
“You can’t have hundreds of children who need to use the toilet and them not be able to go.
“It is unfortunate for parents who have to go to work.”
Cllr Nightingale added: “I live in Station Road, Irthlingborough, and we were not affected at all.”
Rita Mullen, who lives in Irthlingborough, said: “I live near the main road and I wasn’t affected by it at all.
“But I know that my granddaughter, who lives at the other end of the town, was.”