Craigshill street flooded after water main bursts

Water cascades down some steps at Craigshill. Picture: Martin Sweeny
Water cascades down some steps at Craigshill. Picture: Martin Sweeny
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TORRENTS of water turned a quiet street “into a river” after a water main burst and wreaked havoc for residents.

Eighteen firefighters scrambled to a housing estate in Craigshill, West Lothian, to prevent rising waters flooding nearby homes.

After pumping away gallons of water, it is understood only three properties in the Etive Walk development suffered minor flooding which was cleared after several hours.

Onlookers described how the street “looked like a big pond” after the pipe burst at around 7pm on Thursday.

Wedding photographer Martin Sweeny captured these dramatic images of water cascaded down pedestrian steps as firefighters and water engineers scrambled to the scene.

The 53-year-old said: “The water was going up to some people’s doors, it was pouring down like a river. The firemen were trying to pump out the water but it was going towards the Almond housing estate.

“They were trying to pump it over the hill and down to the River Almond. It was like a bottle-neck.”

Mr Swinny, who lives on higher ground, said his property was unaffected by the deluge but was without running water for several hours.

“We had no water – that’s when we realised something was wrong. We’ve got our water restored now, but it was a bit murky before. To be honest I didn’t hang about, I got some pictures and went away. It must have been a serious water main, it was like a river. It was like a big pond outside the Almond housing association at Etive Street.”

It is understood the burst pipe was located between the A899 Livingston Road and Victoria Street at Craigshill.

Two fire engines from Livingston and a third from Crewe Toll were deployed to help the pump water away from the houses.

An “environmental pod” – carrying pipes and maintenance equipment – from Crewe Toll was also in attendance.

Firefighters screened off the area while they worked to pump out the water. Despite the disruption to residents, some children could be were seen enjoying the excitement.

A Scottish Water spokesman apologised for the incident and said they had received around 30 calls from panicked residents.

“By around 9pm the burst had been isolated and a backfeed was put in place to minimise disruption to customers,” he said.

“We worked hard to restore supplies as quickly as possible.

“Water was restored to the majority of properties experiencing disruption by around 11pm. We apologise to all customers affected by any loss of supply or low pressure.

“There was some flooding following the burst and we have been assisting a small number of customers affected by this.”