WATER provider Severn Trent has once again moved to remind residents of simple steps taken to protect their houses during the current freezing weather.

With temperatures of around -6 being recorded in north Shropshire, the water provider is urging people to monitor the impact it can have on house pipes, in a bid to avoid flooding.

Paul Louth, network response lead at Severn Trent said many residents may not be aware of what can cause trouble.

He said: “Colder weather can wreak havoc on household water pipes, leading to an increase in bursts and flooding in the home.

Many of our customers may not realise that Severn Trent is only responsible for the water pipes in the public highway, and that anything inside the property boundary is the responsibility of the homeowner.

“When water freezes within a pipe it expands, putting more pressure on the pipes and joints, often causing pipes to split or joints to pull apart.

"Taking steps now to make sure the pipework within your property is protected can help avoid problems once the temperatures drop.”

The tips include finding out where your stop tap is and check that it hasn’t seized up; wrap all pipework, fittings and storage tanks in unheated areas of your home (such as lofts, roofs, outbuildings and garages) with insulation; cover outside taps to protest from frost.

Also, fat, oil and grease cools and solidifies quite quickly once in the pipes (especially during very cold weather).

Avoid a blockage by pouring any leftover fat, oil, or grease into a container to cool before disposing of it in the bin

If you do spot an issue, call a plumber – preferably a WaterSafe plumber who is checked and qualified – you can find one at watersafe.org.uk

Mr Louth added: “A few small actions now to prevent a burst pipe or blockage could save you thousands of pounds and a lot of trouble and heartache.

"While we encourage customers to look after their pipes, our teams are also working hard to prevent any leaks or bursts on our network.

"So if you do spot a leak while you’re out and about, please do let us know so we can get it fixed as soon as possible.”

If you do run into problems, either slow drains or a blocked sewer which is Severn Trent’s responsibility you can report it at www.stwater.co.uk or by calling 0800 783 4444.