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Get winter ready

Winter can be a challenging time, the colder weather can cause pipes to freeze or burst. We have some tips to help you prepare for winter.

The Big Thaw

Thank you

We would like to thank you for your patience over the past week as our teams of key workers battled hard to keep water supplies running to you following ‘The Big Thaw’ earlier this week.

As predicted, when the weather warmed up following weeks of sub-zero temperatures, this caused more bursts than usual on our network and on our customers’ pipes.

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.

What we did

  • We prepared for the thaw by putting extra teams of our key workers on duty and ensured we had full stocks of fittings and fixtures to respond quickly to bursts, where they occurred.
  • Our engineers worked tirelessly during this time and have repaired the same number of bursts in one week than we’d usually fix in a month.
  • 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.
  • Ensured our storage reservoirs were at full capacity to help keep supplies running during this time.

Because of the actions we took, we are pleased to tell you that the vast majority of customers in areas where there were bursts, continued to receive a water supply during this very challenging time.

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

How you can help

We’d like to thank you for preparing your home ahead of the cold snap 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.

Its never to late to get your home prepared for cold snaps – see our checklist below to find out how you can protect your home.

Keeping up to date

When there’s an incident that might affect your water supply we want to make sure you’re kept in the loop. You can check the contact details we have for you are up to date by signing in or registering for My Account.

We can assist you in an emergency

If you or someone you know needs help during a water supply incident. e.g. those with a medical condition, such as home dialysis then sign up to our Priority Services Register


Checklist

Our checklist outlines the steps you can take to prepare your home for the winter months.

Insulation

  • Insulate your pipes and water tank, especially tanks in the loft.
  • Toilet cisterns, water tanks or pipes in exposed places and unheated outbuildings could cause problems, ensure they are insulated or better still drain them during the winter if you don’t need them.

Watch our guide on how to insulate your pipes

Heating

  • If your home is going to be empty for a long time, you might want to turn off your water supply and drain down the system.
  • If you are going away for a short time, it is a good idea to leave the heating on low at home – some systems have a frost setting. If you can, get someone to drop in to check everything is OK.
  • Make sure your boiler has been serviced to ensure it is running effectively.
  • Minimise draughts by closing the doors and windows to unheated parts of your property.

Drips

  • Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can lead to a frozen pipe. 
Additional Tips
  • Ensure you know where your internal and external stop taps are located just in case your water needs to be turned off.
  • Keep a separate supply of drinking water in the event of an emergency.

For further information and tips on how to prepare for winter, please visit WaterSafe and the Met Office.

Get winter ready

Get winter ready

Dealing with frozen pipes

Dealing with frozen pipes

If a pipe bursts

Burst pipe

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