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People across the UK asked to save water due to supply concerns

Bad weather has been blamed for water supply problems. Credit: PA

Bad weather has been blamed for problems with mains water supply to homes throughout the UK, with people urged to use as little water as possible.

The recent deep freeze and thaw in temperatures has caused a number of burst pipes and leaks, leaving tens of thousands of households without any water.

Thames Water said around 12,000 homes had been left with no running water, several other water companies said they were also tackling multiple bursts on their networks.

Companies have been handing out bottled water to affected customers at water stations.

Thames Water confirmed thousands of customer had been left without water Credit: P

Thames Water, South East Water, SouthernWater and Affinity Water - urged customers who do have running water to only use it where essential.

In a joint statement, they said: "Where possible, take short showers rather than baths, do not leave taps running unnecessarily and only run washing machines and dish washers when you have a full load.

"This will make a real difference."

Suppliers across the country reported a high volume of calls and asked customers to be patient while repairs are carried out.

Severn Trent apologised to customers in the Rugby area who had no supply.

The company said it has been dealing with "an unprecedented number of leaks".

Southern Water said customers may be experiencing loss of supply "that could be caused by the cold weather".

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Anglian Water warned of "extended waiting times" and added: "The weather has also affected our ability to get field teams out to jobs in certain parts of our region."

Welsh Water said: "Due to the thaw, we're expecting some disruption to our services over the next few days.

"We are working as quickly as is safely possible to resolve issues as they occur."

The company also asked customers to make sure no taps were left running and for businesses to check their premises for any leaks.

United Utilities, which serves the north west, told customers: "As temperatures begin to climb following the cold snap, we are dealing with a number of issues due to the freeze and then thaw which may be affecting supplies in your area."

Wessex Water said "some customers" are experiencing leaks and that it has had more calls than normal.

Yorkshire has also been affected, with "very challenging conditions" due to a number of burst pipes.

Yorkshire Water said: "As the weather warms up, frozen pipes thaw which causes them to contract and sometimes break.

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"When the ice melts away the holes in those pipes will be exposed, causing a leak and, in extreme circumstances, flooding."

South West Water offered the following advice: "Customers can help themselves and us by identifying whether the problem is inside their house or not.

"If the leak or burst is on their own pipes, the best thing to do is to call a plumber.

"However if you and your neighbours are out of water or losing pressure, that could be a sign of a burst or leaking mains pipe and we need to hear about it to start helping you."

Homes in Scotland were affected, with ongoing bad weather slowing down repair works.

Scottish Water said: "Weather and road conditions have presented challenges in maintaining our usual response services and we apologise if you've experienced a delay in us getting to you.

"A yellow warning is currently in place and both weather and driving conditions remain challenging."