Cabinet Office supports "Get Ready for Winter" campaign

It follows the problems caused by the freezing winter of 2010/11 which affected many people and communities. Government departments, industry bodies and the voluntary sector have joined forces to urge everyone to get prepared now and not get caught out.

Managing Director of Veolia Water, Richard Bienfait, said: "With another cold winter expected, we want to warn customers about the dangers of their water pipes freezing up, which not only stops the flow of water but it can also cause bursts as frozen water starts to thaw.

"When temperatures drop dramatically in a very short time the consequences can be both disruptive and upsetting if you're not prepared. Water can stream from burst pipes in the roof space, flooding and ruining rooms."

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) revealed that during December 2010, its members dealt with £900 million in property damage claims, as a result of the severe winter weather experienced in the UK. This was the highest payout ever made for damage caused by freezing weather. Of the property claims, 103,000 were for burst pipe damage, totalling £680 million.

As part of the "Get Ready for Winter" campaign, a website that features practical winter advice has been developed so people can be as prepared as possible for any potential problems. It also includes information about. travel and healthcare:

Veolia Water has also produced its own on-line "how to lag your pipes" video guide to help people protect internal and external pipes, which is part of its dedicated webpage to help prepare for the cold weather:

To prevent burst pipes:

Check where your stop taps are to isolate your water supply and that they work;
Insulate exposed water pipes with felt, pipe wrap or other suitable insulating material and cover any outside pipe or fitting with a waterproof material - see our how to lag your pipes video guide;
Make sure your cold water tank is insulated;
Leave central heating on a frost-protect setting overnight;
If you are planning on leaving your home or office unattended for long periods, turn off the water supply, outside taps and exposed pipes.
Dealing with frozen pipes

If pipes do freeze, turn off the stopcock to cut the water supply and use a gentle heat source to defrost pipes.Start thawing the pipe near where it enters the house.

Dealing with burst pipes

If a pipe bursts, turn off the stopcock, leave a tap on to allow the thawed water to escape and contact a qualified plumber. For a list of local qualified plumbers please visit our website:

Veolia Water Central -

Veolia Water has advice on its website about coping with the cold weather and protecting pipes from freezing. Visit for more information.

Our'How to deal with frozen pipes' video, starring Rob King, can be viewed at or on YouTube at

Notes to Editors:

For further information, please contact Sue Pavey or Becky Martin on: Tel. 01707 277110, email: [email protected],

About us

Veolia Water Central is the UK's largest water supply only company and is part of Veolia Water UK. We are committed to delivering a high quality water service to all our customers. We provide 870 million litres of water each day to a population of 3 million people, in parts of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Surrey, the London Boroughs of Harrow and Hillingdon and parts of the London Boroughs of Barnet, Brent, Ealing, and Enfield. Our supply area covers a total of 3,700 square kilometres, stretching from Luton and Royston in the north to Guildford in the south, and from Berkhamsted in the west to Dunmow in the east.

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