pipeSutton and East Surrey Water has joined forces with the water and weather sectors to remind people to be “winter ready” and stay warm, safe and healthy this season.

The company is partnering up with WaterSafe, the register for approved plumbing businesses, and the Met Office, which is hosting the Government’s Get Ready for Winter campaign.

Damian Crawford, Wholesale Services Manager at Sutton and East Surrey Water, said: “We are delighted to do our bit to support the water sector’s efforts around the wider Get Ready for Winter campaign.

“With the Met Office predicting below average temperatures this winter, which we have not seen since the heavy snow fall of 2011, we all need to be prepared.

“One key area of preparation homes and businesses can make is to make sure their property is wrapped up – cold temperatures can cause water inside pipes to freeze leading to bursts, floods and the misery of being without water for drinking, cooking and washing.

“We have a special page on our website (www.waterplc.com) which offers lots of tips and advice about what property owners can do now to protect themselves, treasured possessions and even livelihoods, before the worst may happen.

“We would also ask our customers to be our eyes on the ground if they see visible running water and it has not been raining and contact us on 01737 772000. With cold weather we expect an outbreak of broken water pipes, which may affect water pressure or supplies, so please bear with us and we will fix the pipes as quick as we can.”

Rosalie Fairbairn from the Met Office said: “The Get Ready for Winter campaign is about getting people to consider the winter preparations they can make now to help them stay warm, healthy and safe when winter weather arrives.

“It’s great to have WaterSafe and the UK’s water companies on board with this campaign and its important messages, not least around what everyone can do to keep their pipes from freezing and bursting and to prevent flooding.”

There are lots of simple steps customers can take to prepare for a cold winter and now is a great time to get ahead and make sure homes and offices are snug:

· Wrap up pipes and water tanks with lagging – DIY stores have everything you need
· Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe
· Find your stop tap and make sure you can turn it off – most are under the kitchen sink
· Leave the heating on low if you go away
· Check your central heating boiler has been serviced
· Keep the name of a plumber handy – type in your postcode at watersafe.org.uk to find your nearest
accredited plumbing business.

Damian added: “If the worst happens and you do have a burst pipe, then turn off the water at the stop tap, allow the thawed water to escape through your tap as normal and call a plumber who is qualified to work with the drinking water in your home.”

Customers looking for a trusted plumber to help them this winter are advised to use the online directory WaterSafe, which is backed by all water companies in the UK.