Water users urged to wrap up

With record lows of -19 degrees Celsius recorded in some parts of Yorkshire last winter, Yorkshire Water has launched a campaign to encourage its customers to 'Wrap Up' for winter.

And, to get its message across, the company came up with an innovative marketing hook – a house, in the aptly-named Snow Hill in Wakefield, wrapped up in a 20m long, 3m high scarf made of pipe lagging.

The campaign, which launched on Monday (October 17) is designed to avoid frozen pipes – a problem experienced by thousands of its domestic and business customers during last winter’s ‘Big Freeze’.

Last December Yorkshire Water fielded 50,000 calls with 15,000 of them relating to frozen pipes. It also saw the number of bursts rise from the average of 600 to more than 2,200 because of the conditions.

Yorkshire Water’s Leanda Trethewey said: “Last year, because of the prolonged freezing conditions a large number of our customers struggled with frozen and burst pipes. Although it is not our responsibility to maintain or repair issues on private pipes, we tried to help out as many people as possible.”

Both domestic and business customers are advised to:

• Protect all exposed pipe work, cisterns, tanks, taps and water meters
in unheated areas with waterproof foam lagging or insulation

• Know where the stop tap is located at the property in case it
needs to be turned off in an emergency. The main stop tap is usually
found at the point where the pipe work enters the premises (in smaller
properties and homes it is often under the kitchen sink)

• Keep a record of plumbers’ contact details in case of an emergency

• Keep buildings warm – set central heating on a low heat or a 24
hour constant setting. If premises are going to be left unoccupied for
any length of time with no heating, ensure someone is tasked with
checking the property for signs of a burst pipe in the event of freezing

And, Yorkshire Water is putting its money where its mouth is, making its own preparations for the colder weather. It has an extra 200 four-wheel-drive vehicles on stand-by and extra resources in place to cope will any increase in calls and call outs in the event of a repeat of next year’s weather.

Plus, Yorkshire Water customers can get their hands on one of 5,000 winter protection packs free of charge. Visit yorkshirewater.com for more information

Will Parsons

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