Utility company Anglian Water has announced that it has almost doubled its leakage detection staff and spent £6.8M in an effort to fight pipe bursts caused by freezing winter weather.
The company said it has recruited 62 new technicians to join its existing 68 leakage staff. “We’re going into winter in a very strong position, with more leakage technicians, and more repair and maintenance gangs available than at any point since 2007,” said Anglian Water director of water services Paul Valleley.
Meanwhile, Thames Water has said its programme of work to replace 1.4km of Victorian pipes in London since 2003 has put leakage in its region at an all-time low. The current rate is 600M.l per day across the 32,200km Thames Water supply network. Thames Water said it too had increased its leakage crews in anticipation of cold weather this winter.
Northern Ireland winter lessons
The ‘freeze-thaw’ effect of last winter’s icy weather led to leakage problems for many water companies, especially in Northern Ireland where 450,000 people were left without water over the Christmas period, some for weeks at a time.
Northern Ireland Water (NI Water) was this week praised by the Northern Irish Utility Regulator for its public information campaign to encourage customers to prepare for winter water risks.
“We are very aware of the areas of our business which were overwhelmed by the severe weather in December/January past,” said NI Water interim chief executive Trevor Haslett.
“We … have implemented a number of improvements and changes in how we operate. NI Water will be prepared for another bitterly cold winter, but we cannot do it on our own.”