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NI water Asks Public To Continue to Help

18 January 2010 9:15

With over 350 NI Water staff battling the on-going extraordinary weather conditions, NI Water is asking the public to continue to help.

There are a few key areas where the public can assist the water company:

If you are out of water, first check with your neighbours. If they HAVE water, it is likely that the problem is with your internal pipework. Call a plumber to have the problem fixed. If your neighbours don’t have water, it could be a burst watermain. Call Waterline on 08457 440088 to report the problem.
You are our eyes and ears – if you spot a leak or a burst pipe, don’t assume we know about it, we often depend on the public to alert us to leaks. Please call Waterline so we can fix the burst as soon as possible.
Due to the increased workload, we have to prioritise jobs in order of severity, we are doing our best and need your continued patience and support while we deal with the effects of the thaw.

Charlie Gallagher, Head of Water Supply with NI Water explains:

“To date, we have located and repaired 640 burst watermains. As we find them, we repair them. Repairs have also been carried out on 310 service pipes, which connect the public to the watermain, with a further 350 leaking private supplies being isolated.

“We have had a great response from the public in terms of alerting us to burst pipes and leaks. However, as the thaw advances across the province this weekend, further properties will experience a loss of supply. If this occurs, rest assured, our teams will be on the ground searching for the problem and will continue to work around the clock until all the bursts are repaired and all properties are back on supply.

“We would also ask that customers continue to follow our advice NOT to run their taps unnecessarily and check vacant properties for leaks throughout the thaw.”

NI Water’s tips to customers with frozen pipes include:

1. Turn off your water supply (use your stop valve, usually located under your kitchen sink. Remember older houses may have more than one stop valve!)

2. Use a hairdryer (on the lowest setting) or a hot water bottle to thaw pipes, starting from the end nearest the tap. DO NOT warm too quickly.

3. Do not use any naked flame (blow torch or heat gun)

4. Do not leave taps running or dripping

5. Phone a plumber – keep a number of a local plumber in an easily accessible place.

6. Customers who are more vulnerable are eligible to be placed on our Priority Services Register allowing NI Water to be aware of where they live and their special needs. To sign up to NI Water’s Priority Service Register phone Waterline on 08457 440088 or visit our website www.niwater.com

NI Water’s ‘Winter Warmer’ video can be viewed on our Youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/northernirelandwater

Notes to editor:

Call volumes to Waterline from 24 December 09 until 12 January 10 were 42,102. Last year, during the same period, only 13,351 were received.

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