IT’S THE stuff of school science lessons all over the country – what happens to water when it freezes?
It expands – something you can learn the hard way when frozen water thaws and causes pipes to leak and flood your house.
But what do you do when you are responsible for 34,000km of underground pipes as temperatures drop? Yorkshire Water is fighting back – with a range of gadgetry that would put James Bond to shame.
The company’s very own ‘Q’ is using a mix of technology to ensure its vast network pipes is winter-ready.
Yorkshire Water gadget boffin Sam Pearson said: “While we don’t have exploding pens or mini-rockets masked as cigarettes, our technology allows us to move water around the county, vary the amount of water running through pipes and spot underground leaks within seconds.
“One relatively recent development which even the real ‘Q’ would be proud of is our ability to remotely turn on targeted heating to prevent key pipes in water treatment works from freezing.”
Yorkshire Water is urging its customers to make sure they don’t fall foul of the weather by ensuring their private water pipes are protected.
When it’s particularly cold, the company recommend simple measures such as keeping the heating on a low level during the night – helping to ensure pipes don’t freeze, while long term measures such as insulating pipework and storage tanks will help to avoid frost damage and any costly repair bills.