Scottish Water is reminding householders and businesses to follow its simple winter code to protect their pipes and keep the water cycle running smoothly.
The Scottish Water winter campaign, recommends a three-point guide to help avoid the misery, inconvenience and cost of failing to be prepared and take measures to prevent frozen or burst pipes caused by freezing conditions.
The Scottish Water Winter Code advises anyone with a home, holiday home or business premises to take action to heat, insulate and protect their properties, whether the property is old or new.
If householders are going away or businesses closing over the festive period, and properties will be left empty, you should turn off the water supply and drain the system.
Scottish Water’s winter campaign is being supported by an information leaflet (available to download at our website www.scottishwater.co.uk/winter) that provides important and helpful guidance on what steps to take to help prevent a frozen or burst pipe, how to locate a stop valve, what to do in an emergency and how Scottish Water can help.
Peter Farrer, Scottish Water’s Chief Operating Officer, said: “Anyone who has returned to their house or work to find everything ankle deep in freezing water with carpets, furniture and equipment all ruined, will know only too well of the misery a burst pipe in winter can cause.
“But by taking action to heat, insulate and protect properties, customers can avoid the considerable headache and heartache caused by burst pipes. We want to work with our customers to ensure we are all prepared for the sort of weather conditions that have been forecast.
“Preventing frozen pipes also means we all play a part in ensuring the water cycle never stops. Water is a precious resource and Scottish Water puts a lot of work into keeping it that way. Water pouring straight back into the drains as a result of a burst pipe that could have been prevented costs us all money.”
The key advice in Scottish Water’s winter code is:
Heat: Warmth offers the best protection against frozen pipes, so leave your heating on a low setting, or set it to come on a couple of times a day. If you are going away, ensure someone can visit regularly to check for any problems. If the property is vacant over winter, turn off the water supply and drain the system.
Insulate: Ensure your water tank is fitted with an insulation jacket or wrapped with suitable insulation material. Water pipes, tanks or toilet cisterns in unheated outbuildings or exposed places should also be insulated. If not in use over winter, have them drained.
Protect: Dripping water increases the risk of freezing, so repair any leaks at taps or valves as soon as possible. Also reduce draughts, which can cause frozen pipework, by fitting draught excluders on doors and windows.
Other important advice in the Scottish Water winter campaign includes tips on heating your property more effectively, finding and using your stopcock, keeping a small emergency pack handy and keeping an eye out for the elderly and those who might need additional support.
As property owners prepare to close up their cottages and cabins for winter, Scottish Water is also urging holiday home owners to follow the winter code.
The threat to holiday homes, which are often unoccupied in winter, is very real and often burst pipes aren’t noticed until neighbours lose their water supply or damage is caused.
Scottish Water’s advice to holiday home owners is being supported by VisitScotland who said owners should ensure their holiday properties are prepared for a sudden change in temperature to help prevent any “unwelcome surprises” when they, or their guests, arrive.
This year, Scottish Water is also offering a free stop valve sticker, allowing property owners the chance to write the name and contact number of their local licensed plumber so that it is handily placed in case of emergency.
As one of the largest businesses in Scotland, Scottish Water is also taking steps across its operation to ensure it is well equipped to continue delivering the best service it can in the event of a severe winter. Employees will be working around the clock to maintain drinking water supplies to our 2.4 million household customers and more than 150,000 businesses.
Customers should visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/winter where they can find winter information, films and advice.
To apply for the free stop valve sticker write to: Customer Marketing, Free Stop Valve Sticker, PO Box 8855, Edinburgh EH10 6YQ or e mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow us on Twitter @scottish_water #SWwinter and Facebook www.facebook.com/scottishwater
Customers can now receive free texts (SMS)* to keep up to date about our work or service updates, such as having no water supply, in your area – please text ‘Update’ with your postcode to 82228. *For more info and T&Cs visit www.scottishwater.co.uk/textterms