Following the recent fall in temperatures and the forecast continued spell of cold weather, Southern Water are reminding customers across the region how best to prevent any water in pipes, cisterns and storage tanks from freezing. They are also highlighting what to do in an emergency, when frozen pipes leave homes and businesses without running water or heating, or worse still, a leak occurs inside a property.
For their part, they say they are doing everything they can do to fix water supply interruptions as quickly as possible. However, they realise that some customers are in circumstances where even a short interruption can have significant consequences. Customers on their Priority Services Register are contacted quickly during a supply interruption and offered additional support - for instance, customers on kidney dialysis are immediately provided with supplies of bottled water. Customers can apply to join the register online via www.southernwater.co.uk/register-for-individual-needs or by calling 0800 027 0800.
Top tips to prepare your home for the cold
Cold weather can cause pipes to freeze and burst, so it’s best to be prepared. Taking simple measures, including lagging pipes and checking your internal stop-tap works, in case of an emergency, will help keep you and your home safe this winter.
- Insulate water tanks and pipes
Use pipe lagging / jackets or insulation to prevent any exposed or unheated water tanks or pipes from freezing. Think lofts, garages and also garden taps. When insulating, make sure there are no gaps in the lagging.
- Fix dripping taps
In cold temperatures, even a small trickle can cause water in the pipe to freeze.
- Find your internal stop-tap
Find the stop-tap in your property and make sure you can turn it off. Most stop-taps are fitted under the kitchen sink or stairs and can be turned off by turning them clockwise.
- Service your boiler
Have your boiler serviced regularly (usually every year) to keep it working as efficiently as possible and avoid it breaking down during cold weather.
- Block breezes and draughts
Minimise draughts and shut doors and windows to unheated parts of the home. If your property is going to be empty for long periods, turn off the water at the stop-tap and consider draining your pipes (by opening your taps while the stop tap is off)
If you spot a leak when you're out and about, please tell report it via www.southernwater.co.uk/report-a-leak or call their freephone Leak Line on tel 0800 820 999.
What to do in an emergency