People in London and the south east of the UK have been urged to use as little water as possible after severe weather conditions led to burst pipes across the country.

Temperatures in the UK are on the rise — set to hit 11 degrees Celsius today — after freezing temperatures last week led to heavy snowfall and freezing pipes.

Airports around the country are beginning to reopen while train routes are resuming, thought some have warned travellers to expect reduced or altered timetables.

However, weather warnings for snow and ice are still in place across Ireland until midday today.

The problems are caused by pipes damaged by frozen water in the low temperatures that then thaw, resulting in huge water spills.

The thaw could also cause ground movement that would further damage infrastructure.

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By GlobalData

In a joint statement on Sunday evening four water companies said they were experiencing “exceptionally high levels of demand”.

Thames Water said 12,000 homes in the capital and around the south east were without water and distribution sites have been set up for customers to collect bottled water.

A spokesperson for the company said:

Please do not use water for anything that isn’t essential. Following the recent freeze we, along with other water companies across London and south east England are experiencing very high levels of demand for water due to multiple bursts and leaks in [or] on customer properties.

So we are all asking asking all our customers who have water, to use as little as possible while things get back to normal.

Not all areas are affected equally, but significant numbers of customers are currently without water or have low pressure.