BOSSES at Scottish Water have apologised after 12,000 households in Inverclyde were left without supplies for around 12 hours.

Customers in Greenock, Gourock, Wemyss Bay and Skelmorlie were affected after the burst of an 18-inch strategic water main at Whinhill Primary School on Wednesday afternoon.

Crews were sent out immediately to start repairs as water gushed on to Hole Farm Road, causing flooding at its junction with Kenilworth Crescent.

Teams worked through the night to expose and obtain access to the damaged main and then carry out repairs.

During the disruption, emergency bottled water distribution points were set up at Inverclyde Academy, Wemyss Bay Primary and Skelmorlie Community Centre.

A large queue of traffic built up outside Inverclyde Academy as people waited to collect bottles.

Tankers also had to be drafted into the area to support the process of recovering the network to normal.

Operatives initially carried out valve work to restore water supplies to about 3,000 of the affected properties in parts of Greenock.

The repairs were completed in the early hours of yesterday, but it took several hours after that for everyone's taps to be running freely again.

A spokesperson for Scottish Water said that due to the size of water main it took some time before full pressure was restored to customers.

They continued to tanker water into the local network during that period.

A spokesperson for Scottish Water said: "Some properties in parts of the PA15, PA16 Greenock postcode area, PA17 in Skelmorlie, PA18 in Wemyss Bay and PA19 in Gourock experienced a loss of their normal water supply or low pressure as a result of a burst on a strategic 18 inch water main near Whinhill Primary School in Greenock.

"We estimate that about 12,000 properties across these areas were affected by the disruption to normal supply.

"Our teams worked throughout the night and early hours of the morning to carry out complex repairs to this strategic water main and we would like to apologise to all customers impacted and thank them for their patience and understanding."