ready_winter_hiSutton and East Surrey Water is reminding homeowners and businesses to get their properties wrapped up now the winter chills are set to hit the UK.

With January forecast by the Met Office to be drier and colder than normal, with an increasing risk of frost and possibly snow later this week, now is the time to get prepared.

Damian Crawford, Wholesale Services Manager at Sutton and East Surrey Water, said: “It’s vital homes and businesses act quickly 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. These few simple steps can avoid customers having a miserable and costly experience.”

The winter chill can also affect Sutton and East Surrey Water’s vast network of underground water mains, with more burst water mains and leaks likely to happen during sudden freezes and thaws, particularly as the ground moves during extremes of temperature.

Damian added: “During cold weather we have contingency plans in place to deal with increasing numbers of broken water pipes, and so our staff will be working round the clock to keep customers’ taps flowing.

“We will fix broken water pipes as quickly as we can but would ask our customers to be our eyes on the ground if they see visible running water and it has not been raining – they may be the first person to spot it. Customers can report a leak by calling 01737 772000 or doing it online at www.waterplc.com.”

There are lots of simple steps customers can take during a cold winter to 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.
Customers who have a burst pipe need to turn off the water at the stop tap, allow the thawed water to escape through the tap as normal and call a plumber who is qualified to work with the drinking water in the 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.