With Christmas approaching, it is easy to get caught up in all the excitement involved in preparations for the holiday season. However, the most important preparation is protecting your property against the winter weather.

NI Water is keen to provide advice and information to customers on how to protect their property and help them identify the pipework they are responsible for.

Charlie Gallagher, Head of Water Supply at NI Water explained:

“Last year we saw numerous vacant properties with burst pipes draining the system.

“In January 2011 a single burst pipe in a vacant business property lost over 30 million litres of water; enough water to:

Supply a family of 4 for 137 years
Fill 15 million kettles
Make 120 million cups of tea
You could have 375,000 baths
You could have 850,000 showers
Flush a toilet nearly 3,000,000 times

“NI Water learnt some important lessons from last year’s bitterly cold winter, and has spent time upgrading communications systems including the website and Waterline facilities. However, we cannot do it on our own. We all have a role to play to reduce the risk of disruption to water supplies. Simple measures such as lagging pipes, knowing where your stop valve is and having the number of a plumber to hand can all make a huge difference.”

Graham Barton, Principal of ABC Estate Agents in Glengormley comments:

“We are impressed by NI Water’s campaign this year and are happy to support the message of being prepared. We would urge all property owners who are leaving their premises empty over the holiday period to ensure the pipes within the property are properly insulated. It is also worth while considering turning off the water supply if it is not being used in this time. Isolating supply to the property will remove the risk of a burst pipe and flood damage.”

NI Water has produced a handy stop valve tag to encourage customers to locate their valve in the event of a burst pipe. Customers can obtain a free tag by phoning our Waterline number on 08457 440088, emailing waterline@niwater.com or contacting us through Facebook.

We also have a Customer Care Register which is designed to meet the needs of those requiring extra help or support from the organisation. Joining is simple, customers can phone the Waterline number or obtain further information by visiting www.niwater.com

NI Water’s top tips for avoiding frozen pipes include:

  1. Insulate water tanks and pipes in unheated areas like lofts, garages and outbuildings;
  2. Fix dripping taps – a gentle trickle of water can freeze and completely block the pipe;
  3. Keep your boiler well serviced to ensure your house is heated;
  4. If you are away from home during the winter period, open the trap door into the roof space to allow some of the warm air to circulate;
  5. If you are away from home you could leave a key with someone who can check the house regularly
  6. Know where your stop valve is in the case of an emergency - it is normally situated under the kitchen sink;
  7. DO NOT run your tap to avoid a frozen pipe, a running tap can waste up to 3,000 gallons of water per day;
  8. Write down the contact details of a registered plumber in case a pipe does burst.




All media enquiries to NI Water Press Office on 028 9035 4710 or email press.office@niwater.com
There is advice and assistance available to householders to help them make their homes warmer. To find out more about what grants may be available, you can speak to an energy advisor at the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512012.
The Department for Social Development’s Warm Homes scheme is available for people who receive certain benefits and own or rent their home from a private landlord. Further information is available online at www.warm-homes.com or on 0800 988 0559
ABC is one of the oldest agents in the area, having been established in 1978. It deals with Residential Sales and Valuations and specialises in Lettings Management, being the first agent in Glengormley so to do.
For information on the ABC Estate Agents please visit www.abcrentals.co.uk or telephone 028 9083 2326.