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Lockdown leads to a higher likelihood of burst pipes during cold spell

Home and business owners in Derry urged to check on their properties

Lockdown leads to a higher likelihood of burst pipes as freezing temperatures set to return

People are asked to check on internal and external taps.

As temperatures are set to drop again and a noticeable spike in burst pipes coming from vacant properties, NI Water is reminding customers in Derry to check their vacant properties or outhouses for leaks.

Des Nevin, NI Water’s Director of Customer and Operations, said: “Temperatures are due to drop again and we are asking the public to prepare their properties against the effects of these freezing temperatures.

“With the continued impact of Covid-19 on our community, it is more vital than ever that we protect our water supplies.

"This means taking action now to ensure pipes are lagged, inside and out, and everyone in the property knows where the stop valve is located.

"It is also vital you have a plan to ensure your property is protected if it had to close suddenly for a period of time due to current restrictions."

Mr Nevin said they were also asking the public to check pipework within vacant buildings.

"With many offices left vacant and empty student accommodation, it is important those responsible check empty premises as soon as possible for frozen or burst pipes.

“Unlike previous years, when buildings and businesses would have been occupied in the lead up to winter, the risk of frozen pipes will be exacerbated as, due to coronavirus measures, many premises have not been occupied for long periods and will have no build-up of residual heat to protect pipes.

“We want customers to refrain from running taps and would encourage farmers to check drinking troughs for leaks.

“On a wider scale, the impact of thousands of litres of water pouring out of burst water pipes can put a huge strain on the distribution network.

"The Covid-19 crisis has shone a light directly on how vital clean water and sanitation are to everyone.

"Our staff are continuing to work, fixing burst watermains no matter the time or temperature. However, the public has an important role to play.” 

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