Rapid thaw during freezing temperatures doubles pipe burst reports

A Premiership game was among the events to fall foul of surging rates of pipe bursts due to freezing weather.

Scottish Water says rapid thaw amid freezing temperatures led to pipe bursts doubling iStock

Rapidly thawing icy temperatures have been blamed for surging rates of burst pipes recorded by Scottish Water in recent days.

The utility firm said it had seen a 150% increase in reporting of issues relating to piping since the country was covered by an Arctic blast over the past week.

That has led to an additional 100 million litres of water passing through systems every day, according to bosses.

Repair teams have been assembled in the worst affected areas, including Ayrshire, Glasgow, South Lanarkshire, West Lothian and Stirling, but the company has warned a backlog may take several days to clear.

Motherwell Football Club chief executive Alan Burrows said “umpteen” burst pipes had flooded the club’s Fir Park ground, resulting in Saturday’s Premiership visit of St Mirren being called off at 24 hours notice.

Kevin Roy, Sottish Water’s customer service general manager, said some leaks would be more visible than others, adding conditions had caused a “significant issues” to the supply.

“On top of the usual daily distribution of water and demand from customers, we’ve seen an additional 100 million litres a day flowing through the network and unfortunately that’s the result of leaks and bursts,” he said.

“The deep freeze has developed into a quick thaw with temperatures on the increase leaving some pipes cracked.”

Customers are now being encouraged to check their properties in the run up to Christmas to avoid any further surprises.

Roy added: “We can all collectively help reduce the amount of water being lost in the current conditions.

We would ask property owners, residents, keyholders and businesses to check their properties, including unoccupied buildings, for any sign at all of leaks or burst pipes.

“We’re doing all we can to manage the situation as effectively as possible and trying to reduce disruption for customers. Our response is likely to extend well into next week as we approach the Christmas weekend.”