PORTSMOUTH Water has driven down the amount of water lost through leaks at the top end of the league table of UK water companies for its low leakage rate.
The company reduced leakage by 19% in the past year, and saved an additional nine million litres of water each day compared to last year – nearly enough to fill four Olympic-size swimming pools daily.
Jim Barker, Head of Water Resources at Portsmouth Water, commented on the news: “Water is a precious resource so it’s vital we lead the way on conserving supplies as it comes under increasing pressure in the South East.
“We’ve really ramped up our work to prevent leaks in the last year and we’re delighted with this amazing achievement which has put us at the forefront of leakage performance in the industry.”
“However, every drop does count, which is why we’ll continue to prioritise our leakage work, alongside supporting households to save water and progressing our plans to build Havant Thicket Reservoir.”
The company has 3,300 kilometres of pipes, which distribute drinking water to more than 300,000 homes in West Sussex and Hampshire each day.
It is a round-the-clock task to find and repair leaks and bursts on the millions of joints and sections of pipes, which make up this network.
This year’s success has been achieved by installing high-tech ‘noise loggers’ on 25% of the underground water pipes and working smarter.
The loggers are much more sensitive to noise than the human ear, so at night when it is quieter, they pick up the sound of running water and teams can pinpoint its exact location.
The official leakage figure for the year is 23.6 million litres of water per day – the lowest Portsmouth Water has ever achieved.
Nearly half of this is due to leaks on the private supply pipes which connect to homes and businesses and for which the property owners are responsible.
Mr Barker continued: “More often than not, we are now finding leaks from our pipes and making a repair before they show on the surface and anyone else is even aware of them.
“Our hard work doesn’t stop here. In order to improve on this low level we’ll be installing more noise loggers on our network in the years ahead and have already started exploring exciting new technologies, including sensitive pressure sensors and Artificial Intelligence technology which could help us drive it down even further.
“The long-term goal of the water industry is to reduce leaks by 50% by 2050.”