UNITED Utilities says it has completed repairs to a major water valve which caused cuts in supply to thousands of customers in Wirral.
Following two days of work on a broken valve, the company says the water network is now operating as normal without the need for tankers to pump water into the mains.
The water company has launched a full review so that lessons can be learned for the future.
The company also faces demands for answers about the supply problems to up to 14,000 people in Wallasey from Wirral councillors and local MP Angela Eagle.
Scott Beard, United Utilities's regional water network manager, said: “I fully appreciate the inconvenience people have been caused throughout this incident and I apologise for that.
“Our engineers have worked around the clock to rectify a succession of problems that have arisen since we isolated one of the major supply feeds into Wirral to repair a leak.
“We have done our best to keep people updated. It has been very difficult given the fast changing situation and the scale of the area affected, but I understand the frustration this caused. We need to see how we can do better in future.”
Problems started for people in Moreton, Leasowe, and Wallasey when United Utilities shut off a 21-inch diameter water main overnight on Thursday, May 20, to repair a leak – the repair did not go according to plan, and water went off to a wider area than had been notified.
Work on repairs continued through the day on Friday, May 21, and by that evening engineers were able to switch the main back on and begin restoring supplies.
Despite this, water pressure did not return to normal and this was traced to a different problem with a valve on a 36-inch diameter main which is the other major water supply into Wirral.
Over the weekend of Saturday May 22 and Sunday May 23, engineers attempted to repair the valve but were hampered due to the depth of the main, the concrete it was set in and overhead power lines hindering digging equipment.
Water supplies were restored to most customers by pumping water directly into the system using tankers, but fluctuations in pressure meant that some customers in the Wallasey area lost supply temporarily and others on higher ground had intermittent supply.
The company said water main network and all supplies were restored to normal operation at 6am yesterday morning.
Scott Beard said: “We recognise the impact this has had on our customers, particularly during some of the hottest weather we've seen this year.
“We will now be contacting everyone affected with details of compensation.”