WEST and North Wiltshire seem to have escaped major water supply problems affecting much of the country following the big thaw.

Many customers of water suppliers in other parts of the UK say a thaw has led to burst water mains and leaks.

About 13,000 homes are still without water in Kent and Sussex while thousands of properties in Wales and 5,000 homes in London also have no supply. Parts of the Midlands, south-west England and Scotland are also affected.

Suppliers across the country say teams are working to fix damaged pipes that have left customers with no supply or low pressure.

The industry regulator Ofwat has said water firms have "fallen well short".

But Wessex Water said its water supply network remains resilient following the adverse weather. However, the Bath-based company is advising homeowners to check their pipes for leaks.

The water company said there had been no major problems with its water mains during the extreme temperatures with very few customers being left without water.

But problems have occurred due to pipework within peoples’ property either freezing or bursting.

Customers have reported problems with their private supply pipe – the section of pipe between the water main and the property – as well as pipes in cold or draughty areas being affected by plummeting temperatures.

Ashlea Lane, director of water supply at Wessex Water, said: “Throughout the weekend we have taken calls from customers who have had problems within their home.

“Most commonly this has been on the section of pipe that connects properties with our water mains.

“While this pipe is the homeowner’s responsibility, we have offered advice on what to do and provided bottled water to help those customers in vulnerable circumstances.”

Wessex Water is urging customers to check pipes within their home and garden for leaks, which might be apparent due to a drop in water pressure or water pooling in areas that it doesn’t normally.

A leak can be identified if your property is metered and the meter dial is turning when you are not using any water. You can pinpoint a leak further by establishing if it’s within your home or between your home and the property boundary.

Wessex Water said it was well prepared for the cold weather which affected the South West towards the end of last week.

Leakage engineers were continuously checking the water supply network and any leaks were fixed quickly before the adverse weather came. This, the company said, significantly minimised interruptions to supply.

Mr Lane said: “Throughout the weekend the company’s leakage teams were proactively identifying where there might be problems to ensure customer supplies weren’t affected.”

Wessex Water also invested in a multi-million pound water supply grid that allows water to be easily moved around its region. It means that alternative water supply can quickly be provided to an area should a major burst occur.

The company has encouraged any customers who spot a leak from its water mains or on their private supply pipe to report it straightaway so it can be fixed as soon as possible. Call Wessex Water on 0345 600 4600.

If you have a leak in your home Wessex Water recommended finding an approved plumber through the WaterSafe scheme by visiting www.watersafe.org.uk