Water firm doubles up to fix leaks

STAFF at Thames Water have spent much of the holiday period fixing pipes broken by the Arctic weather.

When the water in reservoirs drops below five degrees celsius and enters Thames Water’s mains, especially the old cast-iron ones, they contract and in some cases break. The colder it gets the worse the problems, writes KAY ATWAL.

Sustained freezing temperatures, have nearly quadrupled the bursts and leaks on the company’s 20,000-mile network of pipes. Normally at this time of year the company would expect to receive 75 new leak reports a day but right now it is getting nearly 300. To tackle the problem Thames Water doubled its leak-fixing manpower.

Peter Sissons has been on 24-hour stand-by over Christmas and New Year. He said: “I won’t lie to you – being out there in the ice and wind digging up a broken pipe can be pretty unpleasant. But water is the essential service so we have to get on with it.

“This is a time for families and it’s my job to make sure people can enjoy their time. Water is a precious resource and if it is all gushing out of broken pipes, our customers could run short – and that isn’t an option.”