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‘Stay alert’ for leaks and bursts warns Scottish Water

The team at Scottish Water are working to keep Orkney’s infrastructure flowing amid the heavy snow.

Scottish Water is asking customers in Orkney to be alert for leaks and bursts across the county during the current spell of winter weather and when the thaw comes.

Road tankers are being used on a precautionary basis to maintain tank levels at the Towerhill drinking water storage reservoir that serves communities in the East Mainland, Burray, South Ronaldsay and Shapinsay, responding to higher than normal demand.

Customer are asked not to leave taps running in an effort to prevent pipes freezing, or if they have already frozen, as this is ineffective and adds to challenges maintaining supplies for everyone. 

Scottish Water’s team is working across the islands to maintain normal service for customers – and they are appealing for customers and property owners to help in locating leaks over the days ahead, whether on the public water network or in private plumbing. They are particularly asking customers to check any empty properties, business premises, holiday homes, basements, out houses, field troughs or garden taps to identify where there may be any burst pipes. 

A spokesman for Scottish Water said: “Our customers play a vital role in preparing their homes and businesses for winter weather; and also in helping us respond when freezing conditions do cause bursts or leaks.

“Taps should never be left running to prevent pipes freezing. The plumbing within properties that are empty over winter, or pipes connecting outdoor taps that are not being used, should be isolated and drained wherever possible.

“We are prepared and have started to use tankers to maintain supplies to communities in the East Mainland. Over the days ahead, our team will be working hard to locate bursts on the public network and keep drinking water storage tanks replenished. 

“The support that property owners and members of the public can give us with locating issues and sustaining supplies for everyone is enormously appreciated.

“We would also ask customers to check around their own homes, and any other properties they look after, in order to isolate and repair any burst pipes. This will minimise damage and assist us with maintaining supplies for customers across Orkney.”

Where customers are aware of leaks or bursts on the public water network, they are asked to contact Scottish Water with as much detail of the location as possible.

Issues can be reported via the online reporting portal on Scottish Water’s website at https://www.scottishwater.co.uk/Help-and-Resources/Contact-Us/Contacting-Us

Wider advice on saving water, saving money and protecting homes from the effects of winter weather is available at Be Winter Wise – Scottish Water (yourwateryourlife.co.uk)