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Northumbrian Water train firefighters to avoid pipe bursts

To help tackle burst water pipes and reduce the chances of customers experiencing discoloured water Northumbrian Water is helping to train firefighters across the North- east.

The company is working with fire and rescue services across the region to help them better understand how they can reduce the chances of inadvertently causing a burst or discolouration when they attend incidents.

Firefighters have been attending sessions at Northumbrian Water’s training facility, The Water Shed, in Pity Me, Durham, and a special video has been produced to spread the learning throughout the region’s frontline crews.

When attending incidents, it is often necessary for firefighters to operate hydrants, which can cause fluctuations in the pressure of local water supplies. Incorrectly doing so can cause massive spikes in water pressure that result in bursts and loss of water supply to local properties.

The training gives firefighters the understanding of why this happens and the knowledge of how to avoid it.

Cris Burt, trainer at Northumbrian Water, said: “In the type of high-urgency situations in which firefighters work there can often be a need to take action quickly. However, there is a danger that incorrectly operating valves on the water network when shutting off a water supply can build up pressure very quickly and cause a burst that leaves customers without water or with discoloured supply.

“We are working with firefighters, as well as other organisations that have operational access to hydrants and other parts of the network, to ensure we continue to deliver the best possible standards of service to our customers.

“We are carrying out training at our centre in Pity Me, but the production of the video means we can get this important message to as many firefighters as possible.”

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