FASTING muslims preparing for their pre-dawn meal were left high and dry after water supplies were shut off without warning.
Thirsty worshippers observing Ramadan – the month in which believers of the Islamic faith fast during daylight – flocked to Texaco in Bath Road in the early hours of the morning when they were left without running water on the hottest day of the year.
Supplies were disrupted by engineers from Severn Trent carrying out routine checks at about 2am yesterday.
The homes affected were in London Road, Wyld’s Lane, Lark Hill and Victoria Avenue in Worcester.
City councillor Jabba Riaz was inundated with calls from concerned residents, many of whom had gone without food and water for almost a day.
He estimated that up to 500 homes had been left without water for about 45 minutes.
Coun Riaz said: “It’s one of those things where if anybody wasn’t awake then nobody would have noticed, but that’s not the point.
“Nobody was informed about the cut off. People almost panicked.
“It’s quite an anxious time for those who fast.
“It’s extremely warm and muggy in the evening and people may need to drink water during the night - families with children, people who are sick.
“Severn Trent is a big enough company to have procedures in place. It’s not as if it was an emergency, that was the most annoying thing about it.
“You can go a few days without food but you need water. Putting it into context, it was the hottest day of the year and people are already dehydrated.”
Ben Jones, manager of Texaco in Bath Road, said there were three sales of large amounts of water between 2am and 2.30am.
He said: “One person bought 16.5 litres. That’s quite abnormal for that time of the morning. People don’t normally buy that quantity of water.”
A spokesman for Severn Trent apologised for the disruption, but could not confirm how many properties were affected or for how long the water was off.
He said: “We do have processes in place to make sure we don’t carry out work of this nature during Ramadan, but unfortunately on this occasion that was overlooked and we would like to apologise for this.
“However for the rest of Ramadan we will make sure that we do not plan any work without prior warning to our customers.”