WATER gushed into the air from a burst water pipe in central Bournemouth – affecting 80 customers and “ruining the day” for businesses.
The water started jetting into the air from a hole on Yelverton Road, just outside Spearmint Rhino, at around 8am and continued spraying onto the one-way street during rush-hour.
Sembcorp Bournemouth Water sent a crew to the scene where their workers initially parked a van over the site of the leak in an attempt to contain the flow.
The water company turned the supply off at around 10am so the source of the problem could be identified.
This forced pub Daisy O’Briens, on Christchurch Road, to close and staff put a sign in the window stating they would not re-open until the water was put back on.
Ed Restelica, owner of nearby Del Marco, said: “It has caused us a lot of problems because we are a coffee shop. Our coffee machines and dishwashers are linked directly to the mains.
“They have given us some water but it has completely and utterly ruined the day. I have lost money because of this.”
At Indulge Yourself Dessert Lounge, also on Yelverton Road, staff tried to do the washing up with cold, bottled water.
Boss Gavin Tack said: “We open at 10am so we have not had any water all day. I have lost loads of customers. Nearly everyone wants drinks to go with their cakes.”
He said he has been provided with contact details if he decides to claim compensation.
A spokesman for Sembcorp said the leak had been caused by a hole in a three inch cast iron pipe and a specialist team had been sent to help businesses clear localised flooding.
He added: “The pipe has been difficult to repair because there is an electricity cable running directly over the top of it.
“We have had a couple of problems with this pipe recently and will seek to replace it rather than just repair it.”
Sembcorp said it expected the leak to be fixed by late afternoon.