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View recent newsCustomers advised to CHILL out in the cold snap

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Cambridge Water is asking local residents to be prepared for more burst water pipes - inside and outside the home - as a result of the cold weather.

The company expects the plummeting temperatures will cause more water mains in the highway to fracture and is asking members of the public ensure all the water pipes inside their homes are well lagged.

Martin Styles, water supply manager for Cambridge Water, explained: “As the ground freezes the earth contracts and then expands again as it thaws. This causes the pipes to move and increases the risk of burst mains. The problem can be further compounded if the water freezes, causing a hazard for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

“Our dedicated teams of engineers work round the clock to repair pipes and to date we have been able to maintain our high standards of service.”

Cambridge Water takes all leaks and burst mains very seriously. When a leak or burst is reported it is prioritised in order of importance depending on whether any customers are receiving loss of supply or low pressure, and if it is likely to flood any properties or cause danger to traffic.

Mr Styles added: “When temperatures begin to rise we expect the number of burst mains to reduce, however, it may take a while to clear the backlog, and we would ask anyone affected by the situation to be patient during any waiting times.

“To date, Cambridge Water has maintained an exemplary leakage target and our aim is to try and maintain this wherever possible.” Customers can also do their bit to protect their water supply during the cold snap - simply by remembering to CHILL out.

Mr Styles added: "Frost damage to water pipes isn’t just inconvenient; it can also prove expensive in terms of the disruption it causes to homes and the amount of water wasted. yTo help people prepare we are advising customers to Check, Heat, Insulate, Lag and Locate pipework - or CHILL for short."

* Check - Make sure all exposed plumbing and pipework is drained down as much as possible and any dripping taps or overflows are fixed.

* Heat – Don’t let your property get too cold. Make sure it is insulated where possible and if very frosty conditions persist set your thermostat to maintain a low level of heat throughout the night and while you are out during the day.

* Insulate – Check that all cisterns and tanks in unheated areas like lofts are adequately insulated around the sides and on the cover. Don’t put insulation underneath as warm air from below will help prevent water from freezing.

* Lag - Ensure all exposed pipes are well lagged. Foam pipe lagging is readily available from most DIY stores and simple to fit. If you have any doubts consult a professional for advice.

* Locate – Locate, identify and label all stoptaps and valves. The main stoptap is often found under the kitchen sink. Check it is working by opening and closing it. You can use this to isolate the water supply to your house if there is a burst.

Cambridge Water is responsible for the water supply up to the boundary of your property. If you notice a leak or burst main outside the boundary, please contact Cambridge Water on 01223 70 60 50.

If you have a problem with your internal water supply, you are advised to contact a plumber. For a list of local plumbers please visit: www.cambridge-water.co.uk/customers/approved-plumbers.

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