Rapid response from emergency water supplier to thousands of UK customers during big thaw after Beast from the East

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Emergency water supplier Water Direct has reported the most significant week in its 22-year history, supporting UK water companies and thousands of their customers as the country literally went into meltdown.

emergency water supply
Our quality assured water and rapid response were paramount to those affected by the rapid thaw. We were quick to arrange doorstep deliveries to vulnerable customers and are very proud that our service played a part in reducing the impact on many household water customers and businesses

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In the aftermath of the ‘Beast from the East’ and Storm Emma, the snow and ice thawed at a much faster rate than expected, causing a significant number of mains water pipes to burst due to expansion and contraction. Water companies in almost every region faced unprecedented demand, with tens of thousands of businesses and residential customers left without water.

During the week spanning 3rd to 9th March, Water Direct provided 24-hour critical support to national water retailers and regional water utility wholesalers across eight counties. The company mobilised over 200 truckloads of drinking water; pumping more than 7 million litres of water and delivering an additional four million litres of bottled water - enough to provide 10 litres of water to 66,000 people every day.

Water Direct’s Sven Parris explained how the emergency water company worked around the clock to respond to the unprecedented interruptions nationwide, to support the thousands of homes and businesses that were struggling with low pressure or no water at all as a result of the rapid thaw:

“For the first time in Water Direct’s history, we were called on by almost all of our contracted customers simultaneously across the country to provide emergency alternative supplies. We provided significant volumes of bottled water via designated water collection points, mobilised drinking water tankers to pump directly into the mains and reservoirs to help restore supply, and pressurised mains so that leaks could be found and repaired.”

Alongside the UK’s only Nationwide Bottled Water Bank, Water Direct operates a fleet of dedicated ‘drinking water only’ tankers as well as regularly maintained water storage tanks, which enabled immediate deployment nationwide. Furthermore, its robust quality management system ensured water supply was fully compliant and handled correctly, which was particularly reassuring for customers with medical requirements.

“Water supply problems can have a serious impact on those with medical needs, for example, dialysis, or the elderly,” explained Sven Parris. “Our quality assured water and rapid response were paramount to those affected by the rapid thaw. We were quick to arrange doorstep deliveries to vulnerable customers and are very proud that our service played a part in reducing the impact on many household water customers as well as keeping businesses running.”

Editor’s notes:
With nationwide coverage and 24/7 service, Water Direct provides planned and emergency temporary water wherever and whenever it’s needed.
Water Direct’s services range from supporting utility companies experiencing an interruption due to a burst main or contamination, to building sites in need of water for welfare or site processes, or private individuals in need of a swimming pool fill.
The company has been running for 22 years. In 2017 alone, Water Direct delivered over 50 million litres of water to their customers.
Water Direct was one of the early adopters of the ISO 22301:2012 standard and continues to promote water supply contingency planning as a critical business continuity practice.
http://www.water-direct.co.uk

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Liv Morris

Kate Everett
Water Direct

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