Customers advised to prepare for burst pipes


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View recent newsCustomers advised to prepare for burst pipes

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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.

Customers can protect their water supply during the cold snap simply by remembering to CHILL out.

Martin Styles, water supply manager for Cambridge Water, explained: "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.

“To 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 a customer’s property. Customers who do have a problem with their internal water supply are advised to contact a plumber. For a list of approved plumbers please visit:

Customers who notice a leak or burst main outside the boundary or in the highway, are being asked to report this to Cambridge Water via its website or by calling 01223 706050.

Mr Styles added:  “As the ground freezes the earth expands and then contracts 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 but we need the public’s help to locate them.”

Cambridge Water takes all leaks and burst mains very seriously. It aims to inspect all water leaks within 48 hours of them being reported. They will be assessed in terms of how much water is leaking, whether any customers are receiving loss of supply or low pressure, and if it is likely to flood properties or cause a danger to traffic or life before being prioritised for repair.


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