Anglian Water engineer taking a survey

 For most of us Christmas is a time to relax and take it easy. But along with A&E staff, police and fire service, Anglian Water has staff on call throughout Christmas, ready to respond in case of an emergency.

Anglian Water staff will be on call over the Christmas holidays and ready to respond in case of an emergency to keep water pipes and sewers working as they should throughout the festive period.

The water company will be working hard to ensure there are enough dedicated teams throughout the eastern region available to keep customer’s taps running and sewers clear.

Darren Cordy, a water network service support manager for Suffolk and Essex, said: “We know the last thing people want when they have friends and family staying over the holiday period is problems with their water supply. That’s why I’ll be working with my team this Christmas Day and Boxing Day, to make sure we keep things flowing.

“I don’t mind being called out, it’s all part of the job. If the worst does happen and there is a burst on Christmas Day, I want to be out making sure my team helps get people on water so that it doesn't disrupt plans for the special day. Hopefully we’ll have it all tied up and all our customers back on water by lunchtime so I can come home and eat Christmas dinner. My family is really understanding and if I am called out to a job over Christmas they’ll be sure to save my turkey dinner for when I get home.”

“We take it in turns throughout the team and there will be someone in the team available to go out and make sure customers’ taps keep running throughout the festive period. When you do this job, you know what to expect and you plan your holiday around it.”

Paul Newsome, a Network Technician for Northamptonshire said: “I am on call this Christmas period and will be available 24/7 to respond to any emergency call outs like burst water mains, property flooding from a leak or a no water call.
“I have been on standby over the Christmas period for the past six years. I don’t mind covering for colleagues who have young families so they can enjoy the day with their children without having to worry about working.

“Christmas 2010,was particularly busy as it was so cold. My first call came in at 3am Christmas Day for a burst water main, and they continued all day. Lots of customers had frozen pipes, and internal floods, so I spent the day defrosting frozen pipes with a heat gun, or using a blow torch to melt packed ice so I could access stop taps to turn off water to properties that were flooding. Finally I got home just after 9am on Boxing Day.

“Our priority when being called out on Christmas Day is to try and solve the problem as soon as possible. Christmas Day is probably one of the few days of the year when families are together to enjoy the festivities. So if I can restore a water supply, stop an internal flood or minimise any interruption due to a burst main, so our customers can enjoy their day, I will. It gives me a sense of satisfaction knowing I have given them first class service.”

With many homes cooking turkey dinners over Christmas and each turkey producing a staggering 3/4 of a pint of fat, it’s important to make sure drains are kept clear.

That’s why water recycling technicians like Gavin Elliott from Spalding, are on call over Christmas ready to help customers with blocked drains.

He said: “Anglian Water provides a service to our customers 365 days a year regardless of any holiday period. I understand this and am more than happy to play my part in making sure our customer’s receive the help and assistance that they require, even on Christmas Day. Customer service is definitely at the heart of Anglian Water as a whole, which is why it is crucial to ensure customers are not left with an emergency over Christmas, I always like to make sure customer’s problems are seen to and resolved even in this busy period so I am happy to play my part.

“I will take working Christmas Day in my stride, with the motivation to make sure our customers are looked after and their celebrations go off without a hitch.”

Rob Smith water recycling technician from Basildon in Essex said: “It’s really important we continue to provide a service to our customers because if we didn’t and there was a problem it would ruin our customer’s Christmas. I’m only too happy to provide this essential service over the holiday season.”

Anglian Water’s customer service teams and social media team will be on hand over the Christmas to help with any emergencies and keep customers updated.

Jane Taylor, head of customer services said: ‘We understand how important it is for our customers to be able to contact us easily so as well as our 24/7 operations contact centre, we’ll also be available on Twitter and Facebook.

“If you have a general enquiry between 8am and 8pm call 03457 91 91 55. But if you see a leak of a problem with your water supply call our emergency line 03457 145 145 which is manned 24/7 through Christmas and New Year.”