AROUND 50,000 homes and businesses were left high and dry yesterday as a burst water main led to widespread disruption.

The incident took place in Argyll Avenue, Renfrew, just before 5am and affected properties in a number of towns and villages.

Lessons at Kirklandneuk Primary School, in Renfrew, had to be abandoned after it was left without running water.

And the Paisley campus of West College Scotland was also closed for the day, with students being told to stay at home.

Frustrated residents and business owners complained of either having no water at all or a lack of water pressure.

This left many people having to head to work or school without being able to wash.

Christine Bullock, owner of the Sprinkles ice-cream shop in Renfrew, was left with brown water coming out of her taps.

She said: “I had to buy bottles of water so we could actually open because we serve tea, coffee and milkshakes and we needed to be able to wash stuff.

“The water was coming out dark brown and I was having problems with the pressure at my house over the road as well.”

Bottled water was supplied to all schools which were experiencing problems.

Experts from Scottish Water worked throughout the morning in a bid to restore supplies.

Some properties had their water back by lunchtime but others were left waiting well into the afternoon.

Renfrew mum Julie Clark was among those affected.

She said: “There’s been no water at all here. I’ve got a disabled son as well. I hope it gets fixed soon.”

A spokesman for Scottish Water said: “We would like to apologise to customers who were without water, or experienced a reduction in water pressure, and thank them for their patience and understanding while we worked to resolve the situation as quickly as possible.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokesperson added: “All schools and council services were able to remain open, with the exception of Kirklandneuk Primary School, which closed as a precaution.

“Bottled water was made available within schools and measures were put in place to ensure pupils and staff were able to work as normal.”

Residents affected by discoloured water have been advised to run their cold tap until the supply becomes clear.