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Interruption to your water supply - Northwood, Pinner, Ruislip, Harrow - HA5, HA6, WD18, WD19, WD23

30 December


Latest update: 30 December 5.45pm

We’re really sorry for the impact on you and your family during the water supply incident that started on Wednesday 21st December. We understand that this was even more disruptive for you, due to festive plans at this time of the year. Your water supply has been returned to normal, and we wanted to give you an update.

We’ll always try and provide you with the best possible service. If we fall short of the standards we set ourselves, we’ll make sure we put it right. We're reviewing all customers who were impacted and we'll be in touch directly via letter, email or SMS if you're entitled to compensation

You can view information about our compensation payments on our Guaranteed Standards leaflet.

Please register for My Account or log in to check your contact details are up to date so we can make sure this reaches you as quickly as possible. 

What happened?

On average we supply 900 million litres of clean water every day, to a population of more than 3.8 million people. During the recent freeze/thaw incident, this demand increased to 1,050 million litres a day.

When the weather warmed up following the period of sub-zero temperatures, this caused more bursts than usual on our network and on our customers’ pipes, leading to low water pressure as reservoir levels were low and unable to recover. Even the strongest pipes can burst during these weather conditions, as the ground shifts and pipes expand, so our teams put our emergency plans into action.

We put extra teams of technicians in the impacted areas and ensured we had full stocks of fittings and fixtures to respond quickly to burst pipes, where they occurred. Our teams worked around the clock to repair over 180 burst pipes and fixed ten times more bursts than normal during the incident. Our network teams worked 24/7 to monitor and adjust the flow of water to make sure we could get water to where it was needed.

65 Affinity Water volunteers handed out over 96,000 bottles of water at emergency collection points, with another 70,000 bottles delivered to customers on our Priority Services Register. Two tankers were brought in to keep a hospital in supply. 

Whilst we still have some work to do, our network is now back to normal following the increase in burst pipes. 

Thank you

A big thank you to everyone who only used water for essential use during this period, and for everyone who prepared their home ahead of the cold spell by lagging their exposed pipes and leaving the heating on low to prevent pipes freezing and bursting. This makes a big difference as it helps to maintain water levels in storage reservoirs across our supply area. And of course, it also helps to protect your home from the damage caused by burst pipes.

If you want to know more about how to prepare your home for the next cold spell, take a look at our winter readiness page.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding during this time. If you'd like to leave us any feedback on how we handled this incident, we'd love to hear from you - please visit our feedback page.


What's happened so far

23 December 9am

All customers should now have their water supply restored.

22 December 4:30pm

We adjusted our network to bring in more water from other areas, and we are building capacity back up in the network. During this time, some customers may experience lower pressure than normal at peak times, but it should improve by tomorrow.

22 December 12:00pm

We’ve continued to replenish the water in your local reservoir by adjusting our network to bring in water from other areas and using tankers to top up the reservoir. During this time, our customers will still experience no water or low pressure.

21 December 7:30pm

We’ve been working hard to replenish the water in the local storage reservoir. We’re adjusting our network to bring in water from other areas, but unfortunately, that means customers' water supply is interrupted. We're arranging for bottled water during this time.


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