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Brief thaw brings fresh misery after hundreds of water mains burst

Hundreds of households have been affected by burst pipes as the big thaw spreads across Northern Ireland.

But as temperatures finally begin to climb, freezing conditions remain in many places throughout the province as weather experts warned more snow was to fall last night.

The slight rise in temperature to around zero degrees, however, has also resulted in Northern Ireland Water (NIW) having to deal with hundreds of burst water mains.

From December 24 until January 11 NIW detected 500 burst water mains, adding that more are being discovered “on a daily basis” across the province.

Northern Ireland Water had at one point yesterday over 350 staff working on the problem — which included an increase of staff at the contact centre to deal with calls from householders.

On Monday more than 700 people had water cut off and customers suffered a temporary loss of supply or a drop in pressure as staff repaired burst water mains.

“Northern Ireland Water is dealing with interruptions to water supplies across the province as a result of the on-going thawing conditions,” an NIW spokeswoman said.

The main areas affected include Ballymoney; Newry; Londonderry; Newtownards; Ballynahinch; Holywood; Banbridge; Dromore; Omagh; Dungannon; Belfast; Ballymena; Lisburn; Downpatrick; Armagh and Craigavon.

Coleraine Football Club in was amongst the many places affected by the weather.

Club Chairman Hugh Wade said they are still unsure of how much damage has been caused.

“The groundkeeper discovered the pipes had burst on Monday morning,” he said.

“The water had flooded the kit room and an office. There was quite a bit of damage.”

Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy appealed for property owners to continue to check their premises for any leaks caused from burst pipes.

“Property owners are responsible for leaks on their premises and should check their homes and outbuildings,” he said.

Any leaks and bursts should be reported to NIW on 08457 440088.

Belfast Telegraph