Public urged to check for leaks and conserve water

Group water scheme members are urged to check for leaks and conserve water this week due to increased demand caused by thawing pipes following the recent cold weather.

The freeze-thaw cycle of water can cause leaks in pipework and at joints or taps. Over the last 48 hours, some group water schemes (GWSs) have reported an exceptional rise in water demand on their distribution network.

Drinking water treatment systems have a design capacity and where this is exceeded, such systems (and especially filtration) cannot operate as effectively. This increases the risk of contaminants entering the drinking water supply. Increased water demand caused by leaks impacts water availability and puts stress on aforementioned systems. They can also lead to unexpectedly high water bills for some members.

While GWS personnel are working hard to locate leaks on their distribution network, individual members should check their own property, businesses and farms for any issues. In some instances water accumulation will be clearly visible but members can also check their water meters for signs of unexpected usage.

In keeping with the co-operative ethos of the community-owned GWS sector, members can be of assistance by quickly reporting any signs of leakage on the wider distribution network to their local GWS.

Each member can also help to lower demand by making special efforts to conserve water this week as their GWS works to address any overarching issues.

In short, GWS members are asked to:

  • Check for leaks on your property and out on the farm; especially in garages, outhouses and around cattle drinkers
  • Alert your local group water scheme if you notice unexplained water flowing on the roadside
  • Make every effort to conserve water at home

For further information on protecting pipework in the cold weather, members can visit here, while more conservation tips are available here.