Properties in Broadstairs, Westwood and surrounding areas without water again

Water supply


Properties in Broadstairs, Westwood and some Ramsgate areas are without water yet again due to a booster pump failure at Rumfields water tower on the evening of January 21.

It is the fourth water supply outage in the area in less than a month with the last being just five days ago. The week prior to that properties were without water due to a technical fault with the pumps and in December there was no supply for around 3 days following a burst main at the site.

This morning (January 22) properties are still without supply and Southern Water plans to deliver bottled water to vulnerable customers and possibly open bottled water stations.

Southern Water says: “A team is working on a fix and we’re drawing up a plan for bottled water stations to provide water to customers. When these are set-up we will announce further details. If needed, bottled water will be delivered to vulnerable customers on our Priority Services Register today.

“If you’re without water and you or someone you know needs access to bottled water as a priority, you can sign up to our Priority Services Register now and we’ll add you to the list for emergency deliveries.

“Between 9-5, call us on 0800 027 0800 and out of hours, call us on 0330 303 0368.”

The issue of constant interruptions in supply for Westwood and other areas will be discussed at a council scrutiny meeting after Labour councillor Rob Yates requested it be added to the agenda,

He said: “After concerns from residents reporting over 6 outages in six months, low water pressure, and accusations of Southern Water failing to build the appropriate new infrastructure to support all the new Westwood Cross homes, I have got the issue added to the agenda for the council’s overview and scrutiny meeting on February 16th.

“This will allow members to hear residents’ concerns and decide what action should be take. I visited the area recently and it is shocking that residents face continued low pressure and water outages, particularly in the colder months when a lack of water results in boilers failing.

“I am worried about rumours that suggest that Southern Water knew that they needed additional pumping infrastructure to serve new homes and failed to take the appropriate action.”

Cllr Mike Garner

Green councillor Mike Garner, whose ward covers the Rumfie;ds Road water tower, said he had written to Southern Water’s CEO to ask for answers over the outages.

He said: “I wrote to Lawrence Gosden, the recently appointed CEO of Southern Water, earlier this week to highlight local residents’ concerns about the numerous water outages over the last few months, most of which, like this latest one, seem to be centred on the Water Tower in Rumfield Road.

“I asked him for 2 things. 1 – A full explanation of what the issues are which keep causing the outages. 2 – A detailed plan, including a timeline, as to how they are going to fix all the issues and restore a reliable water supply.

“Although he told me that he’d passed my questions on to his ‘Kent Stakeholder Manager’, it is becoming clear that answers to these questions are needed urgently and I’ll be contacting him again on Monday to emphasise this.

“I’ll also be telling him that I agree with Liz Larkin (see petition below) that now would be a good time for him to come down and tell us why we have seen no improvement in service since last year’s public meeting with the previous CEO of Southern Water, Ian McAuley and give us a chance to question him directly.”


Resident Liz Larvin has now raised a petitioning asking Southern Water to attend a public meeting to explain the constant issues with water supply in Broadstairs.

She says on the petition page: “While some incidents may be weather related, Southern Water’s communication with impacted residents has been woeful. And those residents who are on the vulnerable list are left without water for several hours, despite having additional needs.

“We call on Southern Water to meet with the local community to explain why frequent interruptions to supply are recurring, what compensation is being offered to residents, and what remediation plans are in place to ensure we can drink, bathe and keep our houses clean.”

Find the petition here


  1. Water should be nationalised! Private monopolies are cutting corners to maximise profits. How else can this disgraceful behaviour be explained?

    • Easily explained. Privatised so government is in the clear when supply is useless. Share holders before customers and MPs who remain silent. No investment and lots of extra homes to supply. Those pumps need replacing and retiring.

  2. Thank goodness that Cllr Yates is on the case because it seems like no one else is sticking up for residents. We are fed up with our water going off, not being able to flush the toilet, clean your teeth or have the heating on because the boiler won’t work! Who’s going to pay for the heating engineer to come out and fix the boilers that have faulted because of the air in the system? Residents! It’s not on, Southern Water need to find a new solution to the water distribution system to service all the new homes and stop putting additional boosters on old pumps to try and service everyone. Clearly it can’t cope, and neither can Southern Water!

    • Just hope there’s enough for Tim’s when it opens. And we need a rink and proper leisure complex not more houses. The torys blovked that thanks Mr Gale and crew. Fellow Canuck

      • Two Canadians in Thanet? How can the locals stand our, “Well, they don’t sound American” accents.
        The closest ice rink is in Gillingham, I do believe. Perhaps, this fact has changed since I learned this informational nugget in 1997.
        The ongoing water supply nightmare is likely to blunder on until a massive infrastructure program is initiated. This is unlikely to occur since SE Water won’t pony up that much money without government assistance, and don’t expect the Tories to pressure SE Water, to any great extent. The incestuous relationship between big business and their Tory brethren has been on full display since 2010.
        Personally, I’d fine SE Water until their pips squeak. If, SE Water doesn’t like the millions of pounds in fines then sell- up.
        Renationalising SE Water, is an option if only because SE Water has been an abject failure( to the residents of Thanet, not the smug shareholders and incompetent company executive).

  3. To the above, socialised provision meant the early demise of how many people at Grenfell and Lakanal ? Is water being off for short periods in same category?

    • It’s not just water being off for a short period (a out a week in total recently). It’s about the gross profit-taking of the water company and its shareholders on the one hand, and their flagrant disregard for their duties when it comes to sewage treatment.
      And as to your rather tasteless comments about Grenfell, I would counter that with an example of private enterprise leading to the early demise 47 people: the Kegworth air disaster.
      Because an enterprise is nationalised is not congruent with it being lethal. The NHS is (just) nationalised, and surely saves far, far more lives than otherwise.

  4. will our local MPs reveal if they are shareholders in Southern Water? They need to step up to the plate now, and not hide in their burrows. Levelling up should include the former nationlised utilities. What about Mr Gove and his staff making a serious commment on this very serious situation? We have not heard much from the Opposition on ths long saga on this long standing neglect and incompetence too. Should Parliament imposing stricter rules and fines on these profiteers?
    Come on McKinlay up your game!

  5. There is no competition unlike Gas/Electric/Telephone they know they can’t lose you as a customer so they don’t care & just reap the profits.

  6. If McKinlay remains silent, does it mean that he has his eyes on becoming a minister for doing so, given the rate at which ministerial posts become vacant, or does he want a knighthood like Gale, or has he given up hope that he will remain an MP at the next election in view of the boundary changes? Is he a headless chicken, and does not care at all what happens to his constituents? Gale, for all his faults, does criticise from time to time

  7. Rob Yates needs to look at how heating systems work before he looks like someone who doesn’t have a clue. Mains water loss does not stop central heating systems from working, as it is a pressurised system, and separate (regulations prevent it from being permanently connected to the water mains). If it has a leak it will eventually need topping up, but that’s a manual intervention and the cause should be fixed.

    When are all these people calling for companies to be nationalised going to realise its just a road to ruin, want proof, look at the state the NHS is in!!!! Government bureaucracy just leads to massive increased costs, under paid staff, increased taxes/costs and very poor service.

    Yes, something needs to be done with Southern Water, this many failures and many seem related are ridiculous.

    • Yep, but being a politician Mr. Yates just can’t resist trying to make things look as bad as possible at every opportunity no matter how detached from reality it might be. Just as in yesterdays “cold buster officer” story carbon monoxide alarms were drawn into measures to improve heating efficiency in the council statement.

      • LC maybe Cllr Yates is trying to raise his profile across the area possibly he isconsidering putting himself forward for nomination as the Labour candidate to stand in Thanet South or its successor Thanet East at the next general election now that Karen Constantine has ruled herself out ?

      • Do you think our councillors should stay silent when, for the nth time, households over a swathe of Thanet are without water?

        • No , he’s entitled to voice an opinion but should at least be correct in what he says and not try to gold plate his list of woes.

    • Crikey you’re a bit behind the times. Karen is backing Charlotte Cornell who I believe is from Whitstable and correct me if I’m wrong lost out on the selection for Dover & Deal back in July 22 to Mike Tapp

  8. The people of Broadstairs have clearly angered the mighty OOG.

    They must repent and give up their lands if they want water.

  9. Where is Peter our resident troll to tell us these things happen?!?

    They are trying their best……

    Are they?
    Or is it we weakened rules governing them and ever since we have had unreliable water supply and half hearted repairs and investment.

    McKinlay is still quiet as he is a share holder and couldn’t care less.

    Not like he lives in Thanet and is without water.

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