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Thames blasts Ofwat for leakage criticism

THAMES WATER this week hit back at a report from water regulator Ofwat which criticised its leakage record.

Ofwat director general of water services Philip Fletcher said he was 'particularly concerned' about the performance of Thames Water for 2000-2001 after the report showed that it was the only water utility to show a dramatic increase in leaks over 2000-2001.

'Thames is increasing the amount of treated water it puts into the distribution system, but its estimate of what happens to this water has become even less reliable than last year, ' he said.

A Thames spokeswoman said that Ofwat had failed to take into account the special circumstances of London, such as more aggressive soil conditions.

'We have recently installed 2,800 district meters at a cost of £70M to make it easier to locate leaks, ' she added. 'But like all other water companies we were hit by the bad weather last autumn - and it's much harder to locate leaks in waterlogged soil in the city environment.

Ofwat has set Thames Water a no leakage target for 2002-03 but has set objectives for the company to meet. These include establishing robust data on leakage and achieving economic leakage rates by 2003-4.

The Ofwat report, 'Leakage and the efficient use of water 2000-2001', details the performance of water and sewerage companies in England and Wales in meeting Ofwat leakage targets.

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