United Utilities Winter Wise and Leakline

Date: 10th January 2017
Published by: Andrea Paterson

Keep your home healthy this winter: free advice pack launched

Download the 2017 Winter Wise Advice Pack Here

North West water company United Utilities, has produced a free advice pack to help people keep their homes ‘healthy’ this winter.

‘Fight the freeze: a guide to winter warmth’ features advice on how to avoid frozen pipes, what to do if a pipe should burst, and a range of additional tips and hints to help homeowners keep the heat in, and cold out, as temperatures start to drop.

Dave Briers from United Utilities said: “There are many ways we can stay warm and well over winter such as eating right, wrapping up and knowing where to turn with any health niggles. But what many people often don’t realise is that taking a few simple steps to keep our homes freeze free can also make a big difference to our overall wellbeing.”

According to the guide, one of the simplest things people can do to protect their homes from the cold is to lag their pipes, especially those located in the garage or loft as these are most likely to freeze and burst during periods of colder weather.

As well as potentially leaving homeowners without water for hot baths and showers – a disaster during winter months - burst pipes can also be expensive to fix. In the North West the average cost for an emergency plumber is £120.

Homeowners are also encouraged to locate and label their stop tap - the tap which controls water supply to a house - so that in the event of a burst, water can turned off immediately to avoid water damage that may leave properties cold and damp.

In addition to home health tips, the new guide from United Utilities also includes broader advice to help with winter wellbeing, such as where to access financial support with heating bills, where to look for warming nutritious recipes, and who to turn to with concerns for loved ones or neighbours who might be vulnerable to colder conditions.

Dave Briers said: “Taking simple steps to prepare properties for cold snaps, and knowing where to look for advice on winter wellbeing, is really important. By producing this guide, we hope to help homeowners stay freeze free and avoid unnecessary heartache and hassle – particularly over the festive period.”

More information is available at


Dog walkers and joggers urged to help track down leaks

United Utilities has put out a special plea to pedestrians in a bid to help tackle leaks.

The North West water company is encouraging dog walkers and joggers pounding the pavements with their pooches and playlists, to keep their eyes peeled for evidence of water leaks, and to report any suspicious puddles (but only non-canine related).

Leakage reports can be made by:

In an average week the water company fixes around 450 leaks which rises to around 750 during cold snaps.

While United Utilities finds around 60 per cent of leaks, with 26,000 miles of pipes in the region it is not always possible to know about each one. The public’s help is very important, and the water company says that dog walkers might be an ideal group to take the lead.

Dave Briers, water network delivery manager at United Utilities, said: “There are many different causes of leaks. For example it could be due to ground movement caused by heavy traffic or freezing conditions; tree roots can damage pipes over time and so can building work. They can occur anywhere at any time.

“Members of the public who walk specific routes regularly are ideally placed to spot a leak developing and, unlike motorists, are also likely to have their phones at the ready to tweet or message us so that we can get our team investigating. Reports like this are a massive help.”

But what happens once a leak has been reported? To help explain, United Utilities has also launched new resources to ‘de-mystify’ the process.

Dave added: “We know leaks are one of our customers’ biggest bugbears, but there is a huge amount of work going on to tackle them. Every time an incident is reported, it kick-starts a process that ensures we deal with incidents as efficiently as possible.

“Because so much of this process happens ‘behind the scenes’ we’ve also launched a new infographic and video which provide a step-by-step guide to help our customers know exactly what happens when they report a leak to us.”

To view the infographic and Leakline video, visit www.unitedutilities.com/customer-cafe.

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United Utilities Winter Wise and Leakline

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