NI Water has issued updated advice to property owners ahead of an anticipated thaw in the current spell of very cold weather over the next few days.
It comes as NI Water revealed that it has been dealing with a 250% increase in the number of burst mains and is aware of an increase in customer side related issues as a result of the freezing conditions over the past week.
Daytime temperatures in Northern Ireland over recent days have struggled to get past 0 C, with night time temperatures reaching subzero. Weather warnings have been in place in recent days for ice and snow.
The weather for Friday shows patchy rain and snow is possible, but conditions will be dry for most. Much of the brightness on Friday will be centred around Belfast and Newry, with maximum temperatures of 5 C.
From next week, many parts of the UK will begin to thaw out, forecasters say.
NI Water is planning and mobilising its resources to address any issues which might arise from extreme weather conditions and the anticipated thaw.
A spokesperson said: "It is our priority to ensure customers do not experience an interruption to their water supply. Our teams are and will continue to work around the clock, in freezing conditions, to ensure any issues on our network are resolved as quickly as possible. This will continue into the weekend and next week as the thaw sets in.
"We appeal to customers to be extra vigilant about bursts on their own property and would ask those with empty properties or properties that have been closed for a few days, to keep checking them.
"If you spot a burst pipe while you are out and about, whether it’s a trickle of water or a gushing pipe, please let us know. You alerting us to this may help us get to it faster and therefore cause less disruption to customers.
"You can do this by visiting Report A Leak Or Burst Pipe - Northern Ireland Water or using our webchat service online at Contact Us - Northern Ireland Water or on Facebook and Twitter @niwnews.
"NI Water also has a dedicated Leakline number, 0800 028 2011, open 24 hours a day, every day. Calls are free of charge. If you spot a burst, we’ll find it and fix it. We would like to thank customers for their support during these extreme weather conditions."
NI Water’s advice during the thaw
- If you are out of water, first check with your neighbours. If they HAVE water, it is likely that the problem is with your internal pipework. Call a plumber to have the problem fixed.
- If your neighbours are WITHOUT water, it could be a burst watermain. Call Waterline on 03457 440088 to report the problem.
- You are our eyes and ears – if you spot a leak or a burst pipe, don’t assume we know about it, we depend on the public to alert us to leaks. Please call Waterline so we can fix the burst as soon as possible.
- NI Water is appealing to property owners, in particular, schools, farms, caravan parks, estate agents, landlords etc. to be extra vigilant, checking out buildings or properties that may have been closed.
What homes, and businesses can do to prepare
- Wrap up pipes and water tanks with lagging – high street DIY stores have everything you
- need; the thicker the lagging the better the protection;
- Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can result in a frozen pipe;
- Find your property’s stop valve and make sure you can turn it off – most are under the kitchen sink - if you have one of our stop valve tags, wrap this around it;
- Keep the name of an approved plumber handy – type in your postcode at www.watersafe.org.uk to find your nearest accredited plumbing business.
If you want a little extra help preparing your home for winter, visit www.getwaterfit.co.uk and type in your postcode to order a FREE winter stop valve tag and flyer.
Visit niwater.com/winter-proof-your-home for further advice on how to protect your property this winter.
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