Harwich Town Council

01255 507211

9.30am – 1pm Monday, Wednesday & Friday

Get Ready for the Big Thaw

Message from Affinity Water

You may remember, the Beast from the East in 2018 ended with a rapid thaw, which caused widespread bursts on pipes at customer properties and on our network.

From Sunday, we are expecting a similar thaw after weeks of sub-zero temperatures.

What we’re doing to prepare

We are putting additional teams of our key workers on standby and have full stocks of water main fixtures and fittings at the ready to ensure we can respond to bursts quickly when they happen.

We have made sure our storage reservoirs are at full capacity to help keep supplies running during the rapid freeze and thaw.

Our network teams also have plans in place to adjust our network to divert water to where it’s needed in the event of an interruption to your supply.

Support for customers

We are also reminding customers that if someone they know needs help during a water supply incident, e.g. those with a medical condition, such as home dialysis then they can sign up to our Priority Services Register at www.affinitywater.co.uk/priorityservices. We are also continuing to support those affected financially by coronavirus.

Check out this quick guide to help you get your homes and businesses ready for the thaw.


And keep up to date with the latest winter advice and helpful video tutorials at www.affinitywater.co.uk/coldweather

Key messages

Preparing for winter tips 

  • Insulate exposed water pipes in your loft and outside. You can use felt, pipe wrap or other insulating material and cover any outside pipe or fitting with a waterproof material
  • If you have a cold water tank, make sure it is insulated.
  • If you have an outside tap, insulate it too.
  • Check that your external and internal stop taps are working so you will be able to turn off your water supply in an emergency.
  • If it’s very cold outside leave central heating on a low setting overnight.
  • If you are planning on leaving your home or business unattended for a long period, turn off the water supply at your stop tap.
  • Consider leaving the heating on a low setting.
  • Fix dripping taps – even a small trickle can lead to a frozen pipe.

Dealing with frozen pipes

If pipes do freeze, use the stop tap to turn off the water supply. Slowly thaw the pipe with a hairdryer or a towel soaked in hot water or a hot water bottle. Start thawing at the end nearest the tap. Never use a naked flame or blowtorch to thaw the pipe.

Dealing with burst pipes

Turn off your stop taps and make sure your central heating boiler or immersion heater is turned off. Leave an internal tap on to allow thawed water to escape and contact an approved plumber.

To find an approved plumber please visit: www.watersafe.org.uk

Affinity Water offer additional services to households that require extra support or assistance during a supply interruption. Join their free Priority Services Register at www.affinitywater.co.uk/priorityservices

Winter can be a challenging time, which is why local water provider Affinity Water is continuing to support those who have been affected financially by Coronavirus. Find out more at www.affinitywater.co.uk/coronavirus