Be winter ready

Who knows what surprises 2020 still has in store for us? It’s certainly been quite the year so far but it isn’t over yet – and one thing is certain – winter is coming.

Like everything the key to a successful ‘snuggle season’ is proper preparation.

The first thing to think about is the cold.

Burst pipes were a 1970s sit com staple but the reality is no laughing matter. And a few simple steps can really help to prevent them – and minimise the misery if you are unlucky.

Step one – lag your pipes and if you’ve got a water tank in the attic, make sure that’s got an insulated jacket.
A key area for lagging is right where your water pipes come into the house. That might also be the spot where your stop cock is. If it isn’t there, try under the sink. Knowing where the stop cock is will ensure that if you do get a burst you can stop the water pumping out.

Winter does not just bring the cold – there’s also rain to consider. Heavy rain stresses, not just the council drains, but also our sewer network – in many places the two systems are interconnected.

So second on the list is keeping gutters and drains clear; good advice year round but especially in winter when leaf fall can cause blocks.

Finally, treating your sewer pipe correctly is vital too. A block in your sewer can lead to something far worse than water damage from a burst pipe. If the sewer backs up you can experience the misery of internal flooding.
The first rule is ‘Three Ps’ – Only three things should go down your loo – pee,poo and paper. Putting a wet wipe down is playing ‘flushian roulette’.

Fat oil and grease is another major contributor to sewer blockages. Dispose of the fat from your Christmas roast in the bin – never down the sink.

Flooding isn’t just distressing, it’s complicated too and different agencies are responsible – you can learn more about what to do here and don’t forget to check out our winter prep tips. Plus, follow @SouthernWater on socila media to get our WeatherEye weather warnings.