Burst pipes causing road problems

 


Burst water pipes are causing problems on the country's roads as the big freeze persists.

The Metropolitan Police today advised motorists to avoid Bayswater Road and Old Kent Road in London and to seek alternative routes after burst water mains flooded the roads.

Thames Water has nearly double the number of pipe-fixing teams on stand-by over the weekend to cope with similar problems.

When the water in the pipes drops below 5C, they are more prone to bursts and leaks and with 17 of the last 22 months having below-average rainfall, water levels are exceptionally low, prompting fears of a drought.

Jerry White, Thames Water's head of water production, said: "We're getting our crews ready to tackle the bursts and we've got an additional 12 gangs getting ready to repair them as quickly as possible.

"As well as being disruptive, bursts and leaks waste water and with a drought looking more and more likely, saving water is more important now than ever."

He added: "Although this year we have reduced leakage to the lowest levels in the company's history, you are our eyes and ears so if you see a leak - please don't assume we already know about it.

"The sooner a leak is reported, the quicker we can fix it."

Last Saturday was the busiest day of the winter so far for the company, as the customer centre received 2,500 calls, with 3,000 calls over the weekend as a whole - 30 times more than the daily average.

A spokesman for the company added that it had received more tweets in two days than it normally would in two weeks.

Meanwhile, United Utilities, a provider of water and wastewater services to nearly seven million people in the north-west of England, said that the severe weather conditions had stopped them from operating as normal.

A spokesman said: "We had to pull our workers off some jobs in Cumbria because of the weather. It wasn't safe."

He added: "Literally, cars were sliding all over the show up there."

United Utilities did not experience the same influx of calls as Thames Water though, and the spokesman for the company said that, aside from the last couple of days in Cumbria, "winter has (so far) been relatively kind to the North West".

United Utilities has issued advice to customers in Cumbria regarding the risk of unlagged internal pipework freezing - a problem which the company says tends to affect customers' own pipes, rather than the public water mains.

Rachel Roberts, of United Utilities, said: "Prevention is always better than cure. It's far better to spend a few pounds lagging your pipes than to end up with a big plumbing bill, not to mention all the drama and inconvenience that comes with having no water or a burst pipe.

"But make sure you have a plan if something does go wrong.

"Find out now where your stop tap is located, so you can turn your water off if a pipe bursts.

"And have the name and number of a good plumber to hand."

The Stourbridge Road in Dudley was shut for 24 hours, causing rush-hour havoc on Wednesday evening this week, due to a burst water main which was attended to by South Staffs Water.

Keith Marshall, supply director at South Staffs Water, said the company has an action plan in place should there be an increased number of jobs.

Despite remarking that it is not quite as cold in the area today as it has been, with a temperature of 1C (33.8F), he acknowledge the unpredictability of the weather and the effects of freezing temperatures on pipes.

"This weekend we are gearing up to take more calls about bursts and leakages," he said.

"We are in the hands of the weather."

PA

Suggested Topics
Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Senior SAP MM Consultant, £50,000 - £60,000, Birmingham

£50000 - £60000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Senior SAP MM C...

Day In a Page

A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

It's the best of British art... but not all is on display

Voted for by the British public, the artworks on Art Everywhere posters may be the only place where they can be seen
Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Critic claims 'I was the inspiration for Blanche DuBois'

Blanche Marvin reveals how Tennessee Williams used her name and an off-the-cuff remark to create an iconic character
Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Sometimes it's hard to be a literary novelist

Websites offering your ebooks for nothing is only the latest disrespect the modern writer is subjected to, says DJ Taylor
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

Dame Jenny Abramsky: 'We have to rethink. If not, museums and parks will close'

The woman stepping down as chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund is worried