Extreme temperatures cause water chaos across UK

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The rapid thaw following the recent cold weather has seen an increase in burst pipes of almost 4000% says Severn Trent.

People across the United Kingdom are being urged to use as little water as possible after thawing temperatures cause pipes to burst.

When water freezes within a pipe it expands, putting more pressure on it and causing it to split or the joints to pull apart.

Sittingbourne was also affected by the huge number of bursts across the pipe network which were caused by thawing following freezing temperatures last week.

Residents of some parts of London and the South East said they had been without water for more than 24 hours by Sunday night, with little indication of when supplies would return.

Teams are working around the clock to restore supplies as soon as possible.

Bosses at Thames Water, South East Water, Southern Water and Affinity Water, which serve Bracknell, Wokingham and Reading, Berkshire, say customers across the south east are either without water or have low pressure.

Taking short showers rather than baths, being careful to turn taps off and only running washing machines and dishwashers with a full load "will make a real difference", the statement said.

"We will be replenishing the bottled water stations already set up as quickly as we can this morning and we will be opening more as soon as possible".

The companies are attempting to fix problems for vulnerable customers first and are providing bottled water where necesarry.

Customers have also been asked to check their pipes for leaks and bursts and to call a plumber if necessary.

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