This winter protect your farm, out-buildings and livestock from cold snaps by insulating exposed  water pipes on your property. If a frozen pipe bursts you risk disruption to your water supply, danger to your livestock and an unexpected water bill. Don’t let disaster creep up on you this winter. Insulate your  pipes and check that all lagging is secure.
Help protect your business this winter by following this simple pipe check:

Step 1. Check that your pipes have been lagged

Step 2. Check all lagging is securely fitted

Winter Advice for Farmers

There are a number of ways farmers can protect their water supply this winter.

Over 60% of our non domestic customers are classified as farms, so it is a very important consumer group for us. Farms can also be among our most vulnerable group if they lose their water supply.

The effects of dealing with the aftermath of a burst pipe on a farm cannot be underestimated. Water is the single most important requirement for livestock. On a dairy farm, livestock drinking water accounts for between 50% and 75% of the farm’s water usage. It is therefore vital farmers have a clean constant supply of water.

There are a number of ways farmers can prevent problems from occurring or minimising their impact if they happen including:

  • Ensure that you have good understanding of the layout of pipework within your land and keep a map of the line of this pipework;
  • Know where your stop valves are located; why not put one of NI Water’s new stop valve tags on them, you can request these by phoning Waterline 03457 440088.
  • Ideally, install a number of stop valves to isolate water supply to disused areas of the farm during the winter months;
  • Ensure that you have a supply of the relevant fittings to repair any leakages;
  • Know where your meters are located (NI Water will help you to do this if asked) and check them on a regular basis. A higher reading may indicate a leak which should be located and repaired as quickly as possible to reduce water bills, which are a major liability for a working farm;
  • Inspect remote troughs which may not be used at this time of year, particularly the exposed pipe leading into the trough; if cattle are inside consider turning the supply to the trough off at the meter or installing a stop valve for the trough (or field) so you turn off the supply without having to do so at the meter. Consider draining troughs;
  • Where practical ensure all underground pipes are buried 750 millimetres (2½ feet) below ground level.
  • Ensure any pipes within buildings are insulated, where appropriate, taking account of the presence of any livestock;
  • Fix dripping taps – a gentle trickle of water can freeze and completely block the pipe;
  • Examine the adequacy of storage in the event of a supply problem. NI Water recommends at least 24 hours storage;
  • Write down the name and contact details of a SNIPEF (Scotland & Northern Ireland Plumbing Employers Federation) registered plumber in case a pipe does burst.

For more information contact us on 03457 44 00 88 or email waterline[AT]niwater[DOT]com

DARD Helpline: 0300 200 7852

Can't find what you're looking for? Visit the Need our Help or FAQ section