Guernsey Water offers advice to property owners to avoid winter water problems

November 15th, 2010 by Guernsey Water

GUERNSEY Water is asking customers to take care of their pipework and oil tanks during the winter, to avoid problems with leakage or spills.

With temperatures dropping throughout the UK, and snow beginning to fall in some areas, Andrew Redhead, director of water services, gave this advice:

“We always advise customers to use lagging on internal and external pipework and taps in order to prevent any cold-related problems. Even wrapping a towel or rag around a garden tap will go some way to preventing the water freezing and expanding.

Customers should also turn off their internal stop-tap if they are intending to leave their properties for a few days or more – this will prevent any possibility of serious flooding, which can cause problems if the temperature gets too low.”

Guernsey Water also advises customers to leave their central heating on low if they are planning to be away from their property for a short period of time, to prevent problems.

Customers with domestic oil tanks on their properties should make sure that rainwater is drained from the catchment pits on a regular basis.

Catchment pits are a legal requirement for all single skinned oil tanks, and it is vital that suitable steps are taken to ensure that the effective capacity of the pit is not reduced by the accumulation of rainwater, as this could result in oil spillages which are detrimental to the environment. Leaves and other debris should also be removed from the pit.

Mr Redhead said: “Rainwater should be removed from pits by either using a manually operated pump or a siphon tube. We do not recommend using an unmanned electric pump as this could lead to oil being pumped out of the pit and onto the ground.”

He added: “Any spillage of oil should be reported immediately to Guernsey Water, as it can quickly get into the water supply. The hydrocarbons in oil are hard for us to remove through the water treatment process and they can impair the quality of water in customer pipes.”

For more information on oil tanks and catchment pits, visit the Guernsey Water website and go to the ‘Water Quality’ section.

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