With the school holidays now underway and families packing for their breaks abroad, Anglian Water is advising customers to turn their water off at the stop-tap before they leave the house for a fortnight.

While very few people think about this before they jet off into the sun, the simple step means customers will prevent a leak running rampant and damaging their home, and will stop water stagnating in pipes while they’re away.

The water company is recommending customers add this to the pre-departure checklist. It only takes a minute to turn the water off at the main stop tap – usually located in the cupboard under the kitchen sink or where the service pipe comes into the home.

Robin Price, Anglian Water’s Regional Water Quality Manager explains “Before it gets to your tap, your drinking water is cleaned, disinfected and thoroughly tested. We spend millions of pounds and carry out hundreds of thousands of tests every year to make sure the water that reaches our customers is of the very highest standard.

“However, when we go on holiday, any water sitting in our home’s water pipes on the day we leave will still be sitting there when we return, because nobody has been using the taps. In this case, you may notice a fusty or stale taste to the water and it can also be warmer than usual.

“The water is still perfectly safe to drink, but it’s not in the pristine condition we’d all like it to be. So the simple fix to prevent this is to turn the water off at the mains and run the taps for a few minutes when you get home before you put the kettle on. You can collect this water in a bowl and use it for washing up or watering the garden so it’s not wasted.

“We would like to encourage getting into the habit of turning your water off at the stop-tap before you go on holiday and adding this to your pre-holiday to-do list”.

Holiday homes in the UK
When holidaymakers arrive at their holiday home, which may not have been occupied for weeks or months, if the mains were not switched off, the water may have been languishing in the pipes there too, so taking steps to keep water healthy applies to holiday homes too.

More information and a set of ‘how to’ videos are available at www.anglianwater.co.uk/keepwaterhealthy. Customers can also take a tour of an interactive house to understand where domestic water problems may arise.