Affinity Water takes up Step Testing technique to detect leaks faster


AFFINITY Water has deployed a Step Testing technique to locate leaks in its network of pipes faster to reduce the amount of water lost through leakage.

Step Testing will allow Affinity Water engineers to systematically ‘step by step’ work through district areas, opening and closing valves to isolate parts of the network to narrow down areas suffering from loss of water due to leakage.

By breaking down selected districts into smaller areas these experienced teams will be better able to monitor the flow of water and pinpoint leaks by a process of elimination.

Jake Rigg, the Director of Corporate Affairs and Communities for Affinity Water, commented on the scheme: “We welcome the use of Step Testing at Affinity Water which by narrowing down the possibility of where a leak might be will both allow us to prevent leaks from occurring and to locate leaks faster when they do happen.

“Affinity Water is certainly at the forefront of the use of Step Testing in the UK and it will begin to be rolled out during 2020 in the areas most likely to benefit from it.

“The introduction of Step Testing represents an important milestone for Affinity Water and visibly shows to our customers the high priority we are placing on leak detection work and the importance we place on meeting our leakage targets in the future.

“We can do this work without adding extra costs to customers’ bills, so it is a win-win, for Affinity Water and a win, win for our customers.“

The Step Testing method is not yet widely used in the water industry, but Affinity Water has historically kept thorough records including maps and drawings of its network of pipes that enable this activity to be possible.

Tom Aspinall, Head of Leakage Operations for Affinity Water, added: “The ‘make up’ of our network and knowledge of it including our historical understanding of where the pipes and valves are has enabled us to use this Step Testing method.

“Many other water companies do not have accurate mapping of their network or the infrastructure to enable them to do so.

“I think it is great that we know our network so well and have the right infrastructure in place which has enabled us to use this method to narrow down large geographic areas and find leaks.

“We will be doing this work at night to minimise any potential inconvenience.”