Wrap Your Tap - 'Woolly' but clear message from Scottish Water

07 December 2023
3 women standing with water bottles at a top up tap

Left to Right: Eilidh Scott, local resident and knitter. Mariella Maguire and Amy Cornett from Scottish Water

2 women standing with water bottles at a top up tap

Left to Right: Mariella Maguire and Amy Cornett from Scottish Water help spread the Wrap Your Taps message

Portobello’s Scottish Water Top Up Tap has officially been yarn bombed - and is helping to encourage customers to protect the water pipes in their homes during cold weather.

A Top Up Tap cover, knitted by a Portobello resident, is a new part of Scottish Water’s Be Winter Wise messaging as we advise customers to protect the pipes in their properties and reduce the risk of bursts and to save water, energy and money this winter.

Lots of key advice and tips are available at www.yourwateryourlife.co.uk/winter.

Situated on the Portobello promenade, the bright blue Top Up Tap is popular with locals and visitors - giving them a place to refill their reusable water bottles to help cut the use of single-use plastic bottles.

This new cover will continue to pop up around these colder months on Top up Taps in the Edinburgh and Lothian area.

The Top Up Tap has been given this cosy new look with a cover knitted by Eilidh Scott, a local resident and avid knitter who runs popular knitting classes in Portobello.

Having been involved in previous large-scale knitting projects, the woollen Top Up Tap cover took her only 30 hours to complete and is now effectively a ‘call to action’ for customers to ‘Wrap Your Tap’ and insulate water pipes in their homes to reduce the risk of costly bursts and leaks.

Commenting on the knitting project for the Top Up Tap, Eilidh said: "The tap cover is one of the more unique projects I have been asked to be a part of. The process began by taking measurements of the tap, then deciding which type of stitch and yarn would be best suited.

“Overall, the whole thing took me just under 30 hours. I got involved with the project as I thought it was a fun way to spread winter messaging about what can usually be a dull topic - pipe insulation. I am looking forward to seeing what Top Up Tap the cover will appear on next.

“I’ve always been a knitter and a craftivist and around 10 years ago I started to share my love of all things woolly in my classes for kids, young people and adults through Knitting For All.

Knitting For All, is an award winning knitting and craft business that helps small businesses across the UK and Ireland facilitate knitting classes for all age groups.

“I especially love putting knitting in surprising and unusual places from phone boxes to trees, statues, park benches and bus stops - the most unexpected places to make people smile and think. Yarn Bombing the water tap has been such a fun, a creative commission with a very important wintry message, a fabulous project to work on with Scottish Water”.

One of Scottish Water’s key winter messages includes insulating your pipes to help avoid expensive bursts and leaks.

When temperatures fall below zero, water in pipes can freeze and expand and then contract if the temperature rises which can cause them to crack or burst.

Like many of us - pipes don’t like the cold. Insulating your pipes is one of the cheapest and simplest ways you can protect your property from the cold.

This year, Scottish Water’s winter messaging also emphasises how saving water can also save you money. Encouraging customers to only boil what they need and to take shorter showers.

Catherine Henderson, Scottish Water Corporate Affair Officer, said: “Winter can be a tough time for a lot of people. We think our knitted tap cover is a fun way to spread our winter messaging, encourage customers to stay cosy and hopefully put a smile on people’s faces.

“Our Top up Tap cover serves as a humorous but serious reminder to customers that their pipes at home also need protecting. The Top up Tap’s woolly jumper will continue to make appearances throughout these cold months so keep an eye on your local Top Up Tap”.

Be more Winter Wise this year and visit Protect your Pipes - Scottish Water for further information.