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Don’t call us, Welshpool, if your pipes freeze!

 
Created on 07/12/2010 @ 15:02
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As the big freeze continues Severn Trent’s operations service centre has taken 2,500 calls this morning (Tuesday) alone and the majority are from customers whose own pipes have frozen or burst. 
 
The company is advising customers in the Welshpool area that if their water pipes have frozen, they should not be calling Severn Trent, as the company’s senior operations manager, Fraser Pithie explains.
 
“Please don’t call us, as unfortunately we’re not able to do anything to help you restore your water supply. We do need to be able to deal with calls about our water mains and sewerage networks, so we can respond and restore service where it may have failed. If you do have frozen pipes you will need to wait until the pipes thaw naturally.
 
“Since last Sunday, we’ve seen an increase of 220 per cent in calls made to the service centre, and unfortunately, we can’t help with the majority of these calls.”
If people aren’t sure whether they have a problem with their internal pipe work, or if they think there’s a more widespread issue, Fraser suggests checking with neighbours to see if they’re also without water.
 
“If your neighbours’ supplies are unaffected, it is most likely that your internal water pipes are frozen, and there’s no point ringing us as we cannot help with private pipe work and plumbing.” he said. “However, if several adjacent houses have all lost their water supply then that is something we need to know as it could mean a water mains problem that requires further investigation.”
 
Fraser is also warning about the consequences of the thaw as temperatures are set to rise from Friday and over the weekend.
 
“Thawing temperatures means that your frozen pipe work is at risk of bursting. We have some advice that can help to prevent this from happening. The key thing is to find your stop tap, which is usually under your kitchen sink. This is the tap that stops the water supply entering your home so if know where it is you can turn the water off quickly if your pipe work does burst, to prevent flooding in your home.”
 
An easy way to remember is ‘ICE’: 
 
Identify where your stop tap is in your house
Check it controls the cold water by
Exercising the stop tap (turning it off and on)
 
The company has uploaded a short film onto its website where Mr. Pithie shows how to find and operate your stop tap - www.stwater.co.uk/news
 
Landlords who currently have empty properties on their books are also being encouraged to check that the pipework on these premises is sound and to take steps now to avoid any problems with bursts when the thaw arrives.
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