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Warning for Severn Trent customers

 
Created on 13/12/2010 @ 07:47
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Customers of Severn Trent Water have a central role to play in helping the company tackle bursts over the next few days as the thaw sets in.

Severn Trent is anticipating a rise in the number of bursts over the weekend and its teams are geared up to respond. And the company is asking for the help of its customers when it comes to reporting external bursts and leaks.

Fraser Pithie, Severn Trent’s senior operations manager, said: “As the ice melts, and the ground warms up, it’s inevitable we’re going to see more burst pipes and water leaks. We need everyone’s help in spotting bursts, so we can do our best to get them fixed. If you spot a leak while you are out and about, call our Leakline number on 0800 783 4444, or report it on-line through our website.”

He also appealed to customers NOT to call the company’s service centre to report leaks and burst inside their homes. “Please don’t call us if you have problems with plumbing inside your property – we can’t help you with private bursts or leaks. This is a job for a registered plumber.”

Over the past seven or so days, more than 25,000 calls have flooded into the Severn Trent customer operations service centre and the vast majority of these have been from people wanting help with frozen pipes and resulting loss of water supplies.

“We’ve had to explain to these customers that we’re not able to help them, which is understandably frustrating, particularly when callers have been waiting on the line for as long as 90 minutes to get through to us,” said Fraser.

“The same thing could happen now the thaw has started – so please, save yourself time and avoid frustration. If it’s burst or leak outside on our network, then we do want you to call us. But if it’s an internal burst, then call a plumber, don’t ring us.”

There’s an additional warning for landlords and letting agents who may have empty properties on their books. “Empty premises can be vulnerable as unprotected pipes under floorboards, in unoccupied premises and in outbuildings are most likely to have bursts. Now’s the time to check that all is well, and if there are problems with damaged pipework, get these dealt with now. It could save you a lot of time, money and upset.”

Fraser added: “If your pipes have been or are still frozen, then it’s good to get ready now. Find the stop tap (typically under the kitchen sink or in the bathroom), and check you can turn it off. Make sure you have the number of a plumber at hand, or someone you trust with good DIY skills, so that you are ready to get the necessary repair work done.”

Tips for the thaw

• If you spot a leak, call the Leakline number on 0800 783 4444 or report it on-line via the Severn Trent website – www.stwater.co.uk

• Check for visible signs of damage to pipework. Find and test your internal stop tap (also known as a stop cock). If you are unlucky enough to get frozen pipes and lose your water supply, you are likely to suffer a burst - so you will need to be able to turn the water off if that happens.

• If you lose your water supply, check and see if your neighbour has too. If your neighbour has water, then it'll more than likely be a frozen pipe or a leak on your supply pipe, not a Severn Trent main.

•For pipework in your home, contact a plumber as soon as you can. If your neighbours or others in your street are affected as well, contact Severn Trent.

• Help neighbours, your family and friends by passing on this advice.

• For further help and advice, visit our web site and check out the news section.

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