The report by the Consumer Council for Water showed Anglian Water second in the UK table of water companies for the lowest number of leaks per household. We are also top of the table when it comes to the number of leaks per kilometre of pipe, around half the national average*.
Our region is the largest of any water company in England and Wales and we supply just over a billion litres of water a day along enough pipes to reach to Sydney and back.
In the period covered by this report we repaired 29,890 leaks – of those 6,382 could not be seen from above ground and were found by our proactive leakage experts. In the current financial year to date we have fixed 18,027 leaks.
Sean McCarthy, Head of Leakage, said: “Our leakage rates are already around half the national average in terms of leaks per kilometre of pipe. Leakage is something we take hugely seriously, we know it’s important to our customers and tackling it is vital in reducing our environmental footprint.
“We are committed to beating our regulatory targets and driving down leakage even further by 2020. To do this we are widening our focus so that we are not only finding and fixing leaks but preventing them from happening in the first place. We are installing state of the art smart valves across our network to reduce pressure fluctuations and protect pipes from bursting.”
We have 200 experts proactively looking for hidden leaks using the latest technology including thermal imaging drones and noise logging units. We also have a further 260 technicians out across the region responding to reported leaks and fixing them.
There was a slight increase in the amount of water lost to leakage from the previous year. This was due to a colder winter in 2016/17 than the previous year which meant we saw more burst pipes on our network. However we are still beating our own, and Ofwat’s, targets.
Sean added: “We hate leaks as much as our customers do. We know there is lots more work to be done and we are determined to drive our leakage levels even lower. We’re investing £60m this year in tackling the issue and we’re starting to install smart meters in some areas which will help us locate leaks faster than ever before.”
* The average leakage per kilometre of water main is 8.07 cubic metres per day for water companies in England and Wales. Anglian Water’s figure is 4.8 cubic metres per day, the lowest in the industry.