SOUTHERN Water is bracing itself for a spate of burst water mains as the freezing conditions thaw.
Freezing weather causes the ground in which water mains are buried to contract and, as it thaws, this can put pressure on pipes causing them to burst.
This not only wastes water but can cause flooding and interrupt supplies.
During the last big freeze in 2010, Southern Water dealt with 315 burst water mains across the region in just one month.
John Young, water distribution manager, said: “It’s vital we continue to operate during severe weather so we can supply the 551 million litres of water our customers need every day.
“We know what to expect so have been planning to ensure we can respond quickly to incidents and carry out repairs, but we would like to ask our customers to do their bit by reporting any burst or leaking pipes to our freephone leakline on 0800 820 999.”
Pipes in homes are also at risk of bursting and residents are being asked to take care of their own pipes indoors, which can freeze or burst during cold weather. For advice on how to prevent burst pipes at home log on to