Reduce winter worries: protect your business this cold season and beyond

By Eleanor Bailey

We know it’s not been easy for businesses in the last year, and winter brings its own new set of challenges. Changing temperatures and cold weather can lead to burst pipes at your site - and they're not always leaks you can see. A pesky underground leak can seep water and only show up later when a meter reading shows extra water use. Having to close again or spend money and time on a large soggy clean-up is the last thing anyone wants!

Remember: you’re responsible for the maintenance and repair of water pipes and infrastructure within the boundaries of your property, from the point of the water meter.

We’re here to help you take away additional winter worries – have a look at our top tips and simple steps to reduce the chance of pesky water problems this season and over the colder months of 2021.

Wrap up your pipes

When it's cold outside your pipes feel it too - protect them from problems by lagging them against the cold. It’s also worth insulating tanks and cisterns, and repairing any gaps in your building that can let in cooler air.

Whilst it might be tempting to turn off the heating if you don't have people at your site, or if you're away, the money saved can easily be lost again if a pipe freezes or bursts.

Did you know – burst pipes can happen even during mild winters? It’s often to do with how quickly the temperature changes, not necessarily how low the thermometer plummets.

It’s a better idea to leave your heating on, at a low setting, to reduce harsh temperature changes and pipes freezing.

Make a water emergency plan for your business

Having a water action plan, so you and all the staff on-site know what to do if water suddenly stops, is the best way to protect your operation and keep it going when it's open.

Being prepared for water problems means you’ll minimise risks and save time if the worst does happen. Take the time to:

It’s worth keeping in mind that if there is an interruption or burst on the wholesaler network in your area, then Category 1 sensitive sites such as hospitals will be given priority for repairs or emergency water deliveries.

Find out more about being prepared and having a water plan here, or look into the contingency planning services we offer here.

Don't socially distance yourself from your site

If your business is closed don’t forget about it! Show your site some love: check in every few days, if you can, to see how it’s doing and make sure no leaks, bursts or floods have happened since you’ve been away. You can use our 4 step leak check guide to help.

If your operation is running 24/7, it may be hard to spot smaller leaks as water will be continually used. In this case installing data loggers and benchmarking water use against similar properties can really help you keep your site in check.

It's always a good idea to take regular water meter reads when you're on site - if it's safe to. Keeping an eye on how much water you're using each month will help you to spot any unexpected increases, which are usually the first sign of a hidden underground leak. Find out more about meter reads here.

Keep an eye on the weather

Winter weather isn’t all snowflakes and snowmen – it’s worth looking out for rain and flood warnings, as these can cause extra surface water and icy patches. Staying on top of the weather helps you prepare your business for whatever’s to come.

Find out more

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