SOUTHERN Water said the number of burst water mains in December has doubled compared to this time last month, due to the freezing conditions.
The firm said with this winter predicted to be the coldest for decades, it was 'working harder than ever' to find and repair pipes which have burst and to minimise the amount of water lost.
It said it was now investing 20m to reduce leaks across its network which includes replacing 50 kilometres of ageing water mains.
And it has already increased its leak detection team to more than 180 staff whose job it is to work to find and fix leaks.
Southern Water says since April, leakage teams have repaired 13,500 leaks and are well on the way to beating last year's figure of 17,230.
This, the firms says, is partly thanks to customers who have made 14,131 calls to the freephone leakline - 0800 820999.
Leakage manager Dave Williams said: 'Freezing pipes are more prone to bursting, so we're working even harder during this cold spell to plug leaks.'