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Foula families facing Christmas without water

Scottish Water said they were focussed on restoring supplies to the small number of affected customers as quickly as possible - Photo: Hans J Marter/ShetNews

A SMALL number of residents on the remote island of Foula, including elderly people and a family with young children, are facing Christmas without water after supplies were cut in the south of the island.

Scottish Water were alerted to the problem in at least four households in the area on Tuesday.

The utility was due to fly staff Shetland mainland into Foula on Wednesday (TODAY) to solve the issue, which has been difficult to pinpoint due to wet conditions.

However, weather meant that the scheduled flight was cancelled, with Scottish Water hoping to fly in staff when conditions next improve.

One resident affected, Martin Smith, said on Wednesday morning they had lost water on Monday night.

He is managing to top up bottles of water by going elsewhere on the island which has a population of around 30.

“It’s a rather unhappy situation – there’s not a drop of water,” he said

“There’s not a great stock of bottled water on the island.

“But since the whole island isn’t affected, one can go north to refill bottles from folk who have water.”

Locals have approached Shetland MSP Tavish Scott about the situation, as well as NHS Shetland.

Later on Wednesday Scottish Water said it had made some progress in dealing with the situation.

A spokesman said that there were now three properties affected by the disruption to the normal water supply.

“All affected customers have bottled water and, with the assistance of our local operator, have been able to fill up with water from the treatment works.

“Our operator, supported by an island contractor, has been working hard today to locate the issue.

“This work will resume in the morning and, should it still be required and weather conditions allow, we will fly additional resources into Foula in an effort to enable normal supplies to be restored as quickly as possible.

The island has its own water treatment works, which was upgraded in 2014.