We’re very sorry our customers in the Waterside area of the New Forest and our customers in Ventnor, Godshill, Whitwell and Niton experienced a disruption to their water supply last week.  

I fully appreciate the distress this must have caused, and I want to reassure you that we did everything we could to keep the disruption to a minimum. 

The outage was caused by unprecedented difficulties at our Testwood Water Supply Works in treating water from the River Test, during and after Storm Ciarán. The floodwater generated such a build-up of mud, silt, and debris in the river that we couldn’t clean and treat it quickly enough to keep up with demand. 

We operate to the very highest water quality standards, so our monitors did what they are supposed to do and triggered a shutdown of the site on Thursday, November 2, 2023. Unfortunately, re-filling the network takes time to prevent further issues like bursts, airlocks and excessive discoloured water. That’s why some customers were back in supply quicker than others – but by Sunday, November 5, 2023 morning, all customers had water.  

Isle of Wight County Press:
If you were without water for more than 12 hours, you’re entitled to a rebate on your water bill under our Guaranteed Standards Scheme (GSS). Household and business customers entitled to this will receive a letter or email about this before November 30. 

I’d like to thank our communities for their understanding and patience during the outage. Please check we have your correct contact details should we need to keep you informed in the future. If you are vulnerable or need extra support, please sign up to our Priority Services Register by calling 0800 027 0800 or email heretohelp@southernwater.co.uk

Although this incident was caused by unique storm conditions, we’re working hard to improve our performance for our customers. We’re investing £3bn between 2020 and 2025 - or £1,500 per household – to increase the resilience of our water network which includes upgrades to our Testwood site, so we can improve our ability to deal with situations like this in the future.  

Yours sincerely, 

Katy Taylor 


For more detailed information on the south Hampshire water outage please visit: www.southernwater.co.uk/water-outage-in-south-hampshire