Thames Water issues ice grip shoes as cold weather bites
In what could be a first for the UK utility sector a water company is to issue its engineers with ice gripping shoes more commonly used in mountaineering.
As more snow is predicted for the country Thames Water will give its engineers anti-skate over-shoes to stop them slipping while out and about.
The shoes, which are designed for people who work on ice rinks, have little studs on the bottom that bite into the ice.
Thames Water says it is the first UK utility firm to give them to meter readers, repair and maintenance engineers and operations staff.
Thames Water leak fixer, Pete Cotton, said: "It's icy out there right now, which causes more burst pipes and means we need to have more of our engineers out fixing them.
"And you can't fix pipes if you're floundering around like Bambi on ice. These shoes will enable us to get the job done quickly and safely."
Thames Water, which serves 13.8 million customers across London and the Thames Valley, hit its leakage target for the fourth year running last year despite the coldest winter in 30 years.
Water pipes, especially the old cast-iron ones, burst more when water in reservoirs cools below 5 degrees Celsius.