Any time your normal clean water supply is disrupted, it is imperative that you and your household are prepared. In some cases, a frozen pipe or leaky appliance might be the problem, or the lack of water might be caused by something more severe – like a heavy storm, chemical spill or even an earthquake. Though some of those factors are more easily rectified than others, it’s important to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.
But if the worst were to happen, what are you meant to do? Here, we have a quick overview of everything you’ll need to know if your water supply does get interrupted for any reason.
Call your water supplier
In most cases, low water pressure can mean that a pipe has burst in your local area. If that is the case, your water supplier is best-placed to inform you on the problem, and how long your water supply is likely to be out for. If the issue is widespread, it’s fair to expect a wait when calling. Many suppliers have dedicated sections on their websites for this kind of information, as well as posting on social media – so be sure to keep an eye on all media outlets.
Turn off your main stop tap
Usually located under the kitchen sink, turning off the main stop tap means that the water can no longer enter your home from the main service pipe. Though you’d typically only have to use this if a pipe bursts in your home, it’s important to know if there’s a contamination issue with your water supply.
Ensure you have an emergency water supply
As each person within your household should consume around one gallon of water a day, it’s vital that you have supplies in place to keep your family or housemates hydrated should a problem with your water supply arise.
Unopened shop-bought water is the best way of guaranteeing the purity of the water you’re drinking, or invest in food-grade water containers to store clean, safe water. Be sure to label these bottles and date them – water should be replaced every six months.
Make your water safe to drink
In the occurrence of a water contamination, you can usually boil your tap water to make it safe for drinking. It’s important to check what kind of contamination is involved with your water supplier, as toxic chemicals won’t be eradicated by boiling. Boil the water for three minutes to make it safe from bacteria, parasites and viruses, and filter through a coffee filter or kitchen roll if the water is cloudy.
Know your evacuation procedure
Though this an incredibly rare circumstance, knowing what you need to do before leaving your home for an evacuation can be vital for safeguarding your home. Ensure that you’ve shut off your gas and electricity supply as well as your water, drain your pipes, drain your toilet and take your emergency water supply with you.
Prevent where possible
Though it’s obviously not possible to prevent water problems in the case of natural disasters, you can ensure that your pipes don’t freeze by insulating them before the winter. There are many ways of insulating your pipes to avoid freezing – from sheep wool to fibre glass, there are many options to investigate.
If in any doubt…
Be sure to call your water supplier as soon as you can. They are best placed to guide on individual events, and can suggest routes of action to you.