Thames Water wasting 635m litres A DAY through leaky pipes

Thames Water wasting 635m litres A DAY through leaky pipes

Our leaks shame: Thames Water is wasting 635m litres A DAY through leaky pipes… but bosses are STILL threatening to impose hosepipe ban

  • Britain’s biggest water company is threatening to impose a hosepipe ban 
  • Hosepipe ban in ‘next couple of weeks’, affecting 15million in South East 
  • Thames Water said nearly a quarter of all water it supplies leak through cracks 
  • Company forced to admit it wastes more than 635million litres of water a day

Britain’s biggest water company is threatening to impose a hosepipe ban despite failing to stop millions of litres of water leaking from its pipes.

Thames Water confessed yesterday to letting nearly a quarter of all water it supplies leak through cracks – but the firm’s strategy director said we needed to ‘be more efficient’ – like the Germans and Danes.

It said it is preparing to impose a hosepipe ban in the ‘next couple of weeks’, affecting 15million customers in London and the South East.

Environment Secretary George Eustice called in water company bosses yesterday to discuss the water crisis amid reports a state of drought could be declared.

Yorkshire Water confirmed it was also considering bringing in a hosepipe ban. Sources at the Environment Agency confirmed that Yorkshire, Anglian and South West Water are all considering hosepipe bans – which would place water restrictions on more than 32million people in England and Wales.

Thames Water confessed yesterday to letting nearly a quarter of all water it supplies leak through cracks. Pictured: A Thames Water official stands in flood water on Hornsey Road, Holloway, north London, after a 36-inch water main burst, causing flooding up to four feet deep on Monday

Thames Water confessed yesterday to letting nearly a quarter of all water it supplies leak through cracks. Pictured: A tanker from Thames Water pumps water into another tanker in the village of Northend in Oxfordshire earlier today following a technical issue at the local reservoir

Cathryn Ross, strategy and regulatory affairs director at Thames Water, said that ‘in all probability we’ll be moving to introduce the hosepipe ban in the next couple of weeks’

Pictured: Reduced water levels at Hanningfield Reservoir in Essex. There are reports a state of drought could be declared

South East Water in Kent and Sussex, Southern Water in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and Welsh Water have declared bans.

But Thames was forced to admit that while it was seeking a hosepipe ban it wastes more than 635million litres of water a day.

Cathryn Ross, strategy and regulatory affairs director at Thames Water told Radio 4’s Today: ‘In all probability we’ll be moving to introduce the hosepipe ban in the next couple of weeks.’

She confirmed leaks were endemic across Thames’s network.

Environment Secretary George Eustice called in water company bosses yesterday to discuss the water crisis amid reports a state of drought could be declared

She added: ‘We totally accept we need to do better on fixing leaks, that’s why we’re fixing more than 1,100 leaks every week. We are not where we need to be, we have a lot of work to do to fix Thames Water.’ She admitted it was likely that households would have to cut water use due to climate change.

‘We’re going to have to look at all the tools in the toolkit to make sure that we keep customers with taps flowing.’ But high usage of water was partly to blame.

‘We use 150 litres of water per person per day in England,’ she said. ‘In Germany it’s 120, in Copenhagen, where they’ve had a big push on this, it’s down to nearly 100.’

Water companies in Germany and Denmark are publicly owned. Germany also has a much better record of tackling leaking pipes than in the UK – with around 5 per cent of all water lost to leaks, compared with 20 per cent in the UK.

The Government wants leaks cut to 10 per cent by 2050. Yorkshire Water confirmed it was considering a hosepipe ban after reservoir levels fell below 50 per cent, 20 per cent lower than usual.

The Environment Secretary met water company bosses yesterday.

Mr Eustice said: ‘All water companies have reassured me that water supplies remain resilient across the country. Each company has a pre-agreed drought plan which they are following.’

He added: ‘We are better prepared than ever before.’

The Angling Trust wants water companies to stop dragging their feet and order hosepipe bans.

Trust policy chief Martin Salter said: ‘Millions of gallons of scarce water is being wasted keeping golf courses and lawns green rather than helping rivers survive and our wildlife and economy protected.’ 

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