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Appeal for helping trace leaks and bursts in the far north


By David G Scott

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Scottish Water teams are working hard to trace and repair leaks on the water networks across Caithness and Sutherland, following the impacts of last week’s extreme low temperatures and the thaw now underway.

Local response teams are continuing to work across both counties to maintain normal service for customers wherever possible. They are appealing for customers and property owners to help in locating leaks, whether on the public water network or in private plumbing.

Icicle hanging from a tap in Canisbay.
Icicle hanging from a tap in Canisbay.

They are particularly asking customers to check any empty properties, business premises, holiday homes, basements, out houses, field troughs or garden taps to identify where there may be any burst pipes.

Leaks and bursts within vacant premises could result in flooding and damage to properties; and Scottish Water is encouraging all customers to check, where possible in line with current Covid-19 travel guidelines.

Frozen garden hose and water pipe connection.
Frozen garden hose and water pipe connection.

A spokesperson for Scottish Water said: “We are hugely grateful to customers for their patience and understanding while our teams have been working around the clock to maintain and restore water supplies in recent days.

“We are continuing to see very high demand for water in many areas, arising from the impacts of the weather on pipes, which has potential to impact upon customer supplies, particularly in some areas of Caithness and Sutherland. We are doing all we can to locate bursts on the public network and keep drinking water storage tanks replenished, including bringing in extra water via road tanker where possible.

“Our teams are targeting the areas with highest flows in order to find and repair any bursts or leaks. Any support property owners or members of the public can give us with locating issues is appreciated.

Senior man attempting to thaw frozen pipes with a blow dryer.
Senior man attempting to thaw frozen pipes with a blow dryer.

"We would also ask customers to check around their own homes, and any other properties they look after, in order to isolate and repair any burst pipes. This will minimise damage and assist us with maintaining supplies for customers across the area.”

Where customers are aware of leaks or bursts on the public water network, they are asked to contact Scottish Water with as much detail of the location as possible.

Clearing snow in Wick. Picture: DGS
Clearing snow in Wick. Picture: DGS

Issues can be reported via the online reporting portal on Scottish Water’s website at www.scottishwater.co.uk/report

Far North Line still blocked south of Georgmas Junction in Caithness


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