HC Deb 23 January 1987 vol 108 cc780-1W
Mr. Boyes

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on his Department's response to the present problems in London and other areas regarding water shortages and water mains bursts.

Mr. John Patten

Water supply difficulties have arisen recently because pipes have burst due to frost action and water is running to waste. Water undertakers are repairing their own mains quickly but most water is being lost through bursts in consumers' plumbing systems. It is therefore most important that consumers should economise with water use and those who suffer a burst should turn off their water supply at the stop-cock and get their pipes repaired. All water undertakers are at present in general able to provide water to meet this extra demand on their supply systems which in some places exceeds the peak demand of a hot summer. The position in London is delicately balanced. The Thames Water Authority is manipulating its system to meet ever-changing conditions and have had to make emergency supplies available in some places including to hospitals. I am monitoring the situation closely and wish to thank water authorities, water companies and their staff for their efforts to maintain water supplies during very difficult conditions.

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