UK’s largest utility fined for failing to reduce water leakages


Thames Water will increase its investments in infrastructure to help reduce water leakages following a study conducted by UK Water Services Regulation Authority that revealed very high leakage rate and the utility’s failure to reach its water leakage reduction targets.

In addition, Thames Water will pay £65 million back to customers on top of £55 million in automatic penalties incurred for missing its water leakage reduction commitments in the 2016/17 financial year.

The utility had set a target to reduce leakages to 630 million liters per day during the 2016/17 year. The firm recorded 677 million liters of non-revenue water per day.

The UK’s largest water utility (15 million customers) has also confirmed it will not be able to beat its 2017/2018 water leakage reduction targets of 620 million liters of leakage water per day.

The utility looses 25% of its treated water to leakages, of which 98% of the leaks are not visible. It found that 25% of the loses occur on customer premises

However, the water company is confident its investments in smart infrastructure will allow 2020 water reduction target to be met.

Thames Water is developing a plan to recover from its past and current water leakage levels, which would help the firm to achieve a 15% reduction in water leaks by 2025 and by 50% over the longer-term.

The plan will include increasing investments in latest technology such as acoustic loggers and monitoring sensors attached to consumer pipes.

Steve Robertson, Thames Water CEO, said: “Reducing leakage is really important to us and to our customers. We met our leakage targets for a decade but our recent performance has not been good enough. We let our customers down and for that we’re sorry.

“We have taken more control of how we manage the network and are investing significantly more in people and resources to tackle leakage, get back on track and then go beyond. Thanks to these changes already in place, our current leakage repair performance is our best ever at around 1,000 a week. Our focus is to restore customers’ trust and confidence in Thames Water.”