At around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, hundreds of residents saw their water supply completely cut.
According to Southern Water, construction on a piece of land near Shoreham Airport resulted in a pile being mistakenly propelled through a large aqueduct that feeds Shoreham Beach.
“Because of its location at the end of a network, reallocating water from another area is not an option,” a spokesman said.
Construction is underway on New Monks Farm pumping station SUS-210103-153041001
“However, knowing the cause and location of the outbreak, our team was able to quickly start work on digging up the pipe, exposing it, cutting out and replacing the affected section – and bringing water back into the network at around 11.30pm.
“We know that any loss of supply, no matter how brief, is a nuisance, and we apologize for the inconvenience the residents have in the evening.”
Councilor Joss Loader said the tap water got dirty by well into Thursday afternoon, but she praised the water supply for its quick response.
“Shoreham Beach was without water at its worst when people went home from work, cooked dinner and put their kids to bed,” she said.
“To their credit, the Southern Water teams prioritized this and deliveries resumed relatively quickly.
“The main criticism from people was the lack of communication as it took Southern Water a while to let us know what was going on.
“I hope in the future that the construction workers have received the necessary instructions to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
“We know accidents can happen, but it really shouldn’t be difficult using established technology and safety practices to locate an important water pipe and take the necessary precautions.”
At New Monks Farm, next to Shoreham Airport, construction is in full swing for hundreds of homes and a water pumping station.
Comment was requested from the developer, Community Stadium Ltd.