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Guildford’s Water Supply Should ‘Gradually Return’ to Normal Over Next 24 hrs

Published on: 5 Nov, 2023
Updated on: 6 Nov, 2023

By Martin Giles

Storm Ciaran is having a belated effect on Guildford’s water supply.

See later updates below.

Not everyone is affected but Thames Water has apologised for there being no water supply or low pressure in postcodes GU1, GU2, GU3, GU5, GU6, GU7 and GU8.

The postcodes within which water supply might have been affected are: GU1, GU2, GU3, GU5, GU6, GU7 and GU8.

A statement on their website says: “This follows issues caused by Storm Ciaran at Shalford water treatment works. Our engineers are on site and working hard to get things back to normal.”

Bottled water stations have been set up at Crown Court Car Park, Godalming, GU7 1HR and Artington Park and Ride, Old Portsmouth Rd, Guildford GU3 1LP.

But The Dragon NEWS has received a reader’s report that there are long queues at both locations.

Demetria Watkins, from the GU2 postcode, said: “It does not seem very well organised. We’re on the Priority Register so supposed to get bottled water delivered and a text or email

“But we’ve had no messages, no bottled water. God help anyone who can’t get to a water station as the “Priority” system is not working.”

The queue at Crown Court car park in Godalming. Photo Demetria Watkins

Thames Water last night also said that they were delivering bottled water to vulnerable customers on their Priority Service Register.

Their statement ended: “We know how worrying and inconvenient this is and thank you for your patience.

“We’ll provide further updates as soon as we have more news.”

And this morning Jeremy Hunt, MP for Surrey South West, messaged:

MP Jeremy Hunt’s message regarding the water problem.

Another reader from St Catherine’s commented: “I noticed some cloudiness of our water last week but our supply now seems unaffected. I also know that the lavatories were out of order in premises in the High Street on Thursday evening and know they have been affected with water supply problems before.”

Aerial view of Shalford Water Treatment Works by St Mary’s Church. Apple Maps.

1335 Update

Received from Cllr Maddy Redpath (R4GV, Castle)

The Strategic Director at Guildford Borough Council has provided the latest update regarding the situation.

“Due to issues at the Shalford Water Treatment works, 12,500 properties in the Frith and Munstead areas near Godalming are currently experiencing a water shortage, with a potential for 6,000 more properties to be affected by 11 am.

“If not resolved by 6 pm today, this could impact up to 40,000 properties in total.”

In response to this, the council, in collaboration with Surrey County Council, Thames Water, and other key partners, has taken swift action:

  • Two water distribution stations have been set up at Crown Court and Artington Park and Ride, with plans for a third site being finalized.
  • Vulnerable residents on the Priority Service registers have received bottled water, and a welfare cell has been established to support our community’s most vulnerable members.
  • Proactive social media updates have been posted on our official Facebook and Twitter accounts, and we will be sharing messages from Thames Water as they become available.

For detailed updates and information, please visit Thames Water’s dedicated update page:

This incident is being closely monitored and could be escalated to a major incident if necessary. We are actively working with lead authorities to ensure our residents’ well-being.

Guildford and Waverley residents, rest assured that we are doing everything in our power to support you during this time, including working to identify additional water distribution points.

Update 7pm

Jeremy Hunt message re water supply problem.

Update 7.20pm

And Guildford’s MP reports she has been helping directing cars at the Artington Park & Ride water supply point. She said:” I’ve just been down at the Park and Ride for an hour on traffic management as cars were coming in the wrong way for water. All it needed was a TW sign in the right entrance. Working well and everyone is being very polite and lovely to the staff handing out water.”

Update 8.08pm

Thames Water message re water Supply problem

Further message from Thames Water.




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Responses to Guildford’s Water Supply Should ‘Gradually Return’ to Normal Over Next 24 hrs

  1. Demetria Watkins Reply

    November 5, 2023 at 1:27 pm

    Some shops in Godalming closed due to lack of water and Waitrose has run out of bottled water!

  2. jim allen Reply

    November 5, 2023 at 4:11 pm

    Can I now be premitted to say:

    I told you so!

  3. Tim Wolfenden Reply

    November 5, 2023 at 5:40 pm

    Once the issue has been resolved it would be useful to understand what has caused this excessive turbidity, and whether it was in the water drawn from the Wey or Tillingbourne or both. I understand that water levels in both were up but remained “within normal range” over the past few days. Local speculation is that it is the result of one or more of:
    – storm overflow discharges from the Unsted sewage works into the Wey (more than 19 hours in the last 48 hours)
    – the large volumes of polluted surface water that stream off the A281 into the Tillingbourne just upstream of the extraction point. If this is the issue, then some co-ordinated action with SCC to better maintain /improve the surface drains would doubtless be beneficial – during even moderate rain, water flows over a succession of blocked / overwhelmed drains from as far as Warwicks Bench down onto the 281 and into the Tillingbourne. It’s possible that there are similar situations elsewhere
    – mean river levels (certainly in the Tillingbourne) being lower over the past few years, so when they rise the waters drag with them soil and debris from the previously exposed banks. This situation will doubtless only become worse as our climate changes, and will potentially be exacerbated with Thames Water’s proposals to increase water extraction from the Tillingbourne so that water from here can be piped back upstream to customers to supplement the supply from the Netley Mill borehole.
    It’s imperative that we learn from the current issues and that the relevant authorities act on these lessons to safeguard our supplies in the future.

  4. Gavin Ramsay Reply

    November 5, 2023 at 7:18 pm

    No water yesterday evening Guildford High Street. Back on this morning but off again now (Sunday evening).

  5. Mike Reply

    November 6, 2023 at 2:04 am

    Not being able to flush the lavatory is the worst nightmare. What happens when the lavatory is blocked because there’s no water to fill the cistern? What to do? Please advise as a matter of URGENCY Thames Water. 😥

  6. Ross Connell Reply

    November 6, 2023 at 8:16 am

    I thought it was my imagination that water pressure was droppin last week. It is also my recollection that this water treatment plant has had past problems resulting in reduced water pressure. To blame current problem on the recent storm and excess rain seems odd with reservoir content being reduced.

    I do not believe Thames Water’s position on this matter. SCC and GBC should press for any indpendent enquiry via DEFRA to get to the truth on this matter.

  7. Jeremy Pattison Reply

    November 7, 2023 at 7:46 am

    It hasn’t got better. Instead we are finding streets running off the Epsom Road, with no problems over the weekend, lost their water supply at 8.30 last night.

    There was no warning so that we could go to the collection points before they closed and neither has there been any communication from Thames Water.

    It isn’t clear whether the problem is a widening of the issues elsewhere, in which case Thames Water should communicate this to customers, or a new one that Thames Water is ignoring.

    I can understand there will be problems in water supply but communication and customer care do not need engineers to fix, just consideration for their customers.

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