Severn Trent calls for help as the thaw starts to cause huge increase in leaks
Monday 19 December 2022
With temperatures rising rapidly following a week of freezing weather, Severn Trent is working round the clock to deal with the aftermath.
The water company is asking any customers who do not have any water when they turn the tap on to check with their neighbours first – if their neighbours have water, it’s likely that they’ve got frozen private pipes, as opposed to it being an issue on the Severn Trent network. Customers can easily fix this themselves by turning off the stop tap and gently warming the pipe up using a hairdryer or a heater - you don’t want to warm them up too quickly as this can cause a burst. If the pipe has burst, they should call a plumber to come out and help fix it.
Jodie Bowen, Customer Contact Lead at Severn Trent, explains: “We’ve seen an increase in the number of calls we’ve had from customers about frozen pipes over the weekend. Usually when people find that the water is off in their home, they quite rightly give us a call, however most of these calls have turned out to be the customer’s pipework being frozen. Although we’re not responsible for the pipework inside homes, we’ve got plenty of advice on what people can do.
“If you have a leak within your home or business, you should get a plumber to come out to get everything fixed. You can find more information, including how to find an approved plumber, here www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply/leakage/”
The company is also asking customers to let them know if they notice any leaks while they are out and about.
Jodie added: “When the ground freezes then rapidly unfreezes, it can cause ground movement which can put pressure on our network of pipes causing them to burst. We’re asking our customers to report any leaks they see while they are out and about so we can fix them fast.”
The company’s expert team of engineers are working 24/7 to find and fix these bursts as quickly and as safely as possible. If you spot a leak while you’re out and about, call our ‘Leakline’ number on 0800 783 4444, the call is free on most landlines. Or report the leak on-line through our website at stwater.co.uk/reportaleak Although if you are visiting our website it’s worth having a look at our ‘Incidents in your area’ section which lists leaks that have already been reported to us.
If you do have a problem with your water supply this winter, with either low pressure or no water coming out of your taps, first check to see if your neighbours are having similar trouble. This will help establish if the issue is on Severn Trent’s network or on your own supply pipe. If your neighbours’ water supply is normal it is likely that you will need to call a plumber. If more than one household is affected you’ll need to ring Severn Trent’s 24 hour emergency number to report the problem - 0800 783 4444.
If you have more questions or are concerned that you may have a frozen pipe, you can find more information by visiting www.stwater.co.uk/my-supply/wintertogether/
Notes to editors:
Severn Trent’s top tips for protecting your household pipes in freezing temperatures:
- If you’re not getting any water when you turn the tap on, check with your neighbours first – if they’ve got water it’s likely you’ve got frozen pipes – and then try and thaw your pipes out by using a hairdryer or a heater (you don’t want to thaw them too quickly). If you do find your pipes have burst because the water’s frozen and expanded inside them, you should get a plumber to come out to get everything fixed
- Wrap all pipework, fittings, and storage tanks in unheated areas of your home (such as lofts, roofs, outbuildings and garages) with insulation. Severn Trent is offering free pipe lagging this winter for customers through it’s Get Water Fit initiative while stocks last. Waterproof foam lagging can also be found at your local DIY store
- If you have outside taps, either insulate them or drain them down to the pipework that links to the tap - Severn Trent is also offering ‘tap jackets’ through it’s Get Water Fit initiative while stocks last
- Make sure that you and other members of your household know where your stop tap is located so that it can be reached quickly in an emergency, and most importantly, check that it’s working properly
- If you spot a leak on the Severn Trent network while you’re out and about you can report it here: https://www.stwater.co.uk/my-account/report-an-issue-through-vyn/. When the ground freezes then rapidly unfreezes, it can cause ground movement which can put pressure on the pipes causing them to burst