Five water companies 'wasted 1.2 billion litres daily' last year says union

·2-min read
Southern Water among companies to 'waste 1.2 billion' litres of water
Southern Water among companies to 'waste 1.2 billion' litres of water

A UNION is calling for the end of privatised water after “500 Olympic sized swimming pools of water was wasted every day last year”.

Southern Water, South East Water, Thames, South West and Yorkshire Water leaked the equivalent of 16 million bathtubs, says the GMB.

The union claims that these private water companies’ pipes leaked 1.2 billion litres of water every 24 hours in the financial year 2020 to 2021.

By August 24 each company will have enforced hosepipe bans for customers.

GMB has long campaigned for “water to be brought back into public hands”.

The Argus: Burst pipe could cost water sports company at Hove Lagoon thousands
The Argus: Burst pipe could cost water sports company at Hove Lagoon thousands

Burst pipe could cost water sports company at Hove Lagoon thousands

Andy Prendergast, GMB national secretary, said: “Tens of millions of people face a hosepipe ban while these privatised companies let more than 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of water go down the plug hole every single day.

“It’s a disgrace that customers face a £1,000 fine as private water fat cats trouser millions, all the while failing to sufficiently tackle leakage and refusing to invest in the workforce.

“Privatising water has been a disastrous failed experiment, it’s time to bring this essential natural resource back into public hands.”

The Argus: Southern Water attend water main leak in Lancing
The Argus: Southern Water attend water main leak in Lancing

Southern Water attend water main leak in Lancing

A spokesman for Southern Water said: “Tackling leakage is a high priority for us.

“We can't tell our customers not to use hosepipes if we aren’t doing our part.

“Last year we fixed 22,000 leaks and in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight where we have a hosepipe ban in force we’re repairing 250 a week.

“Importantly we have installed 7,000 acoustic loggers across our network which detect and pinpoint leaks and 100 of the Hampshire repairs come from this data.

“These leaks are often on major mains buried deep underground and are invisible on the surface but can lose far more water than the visible leaks from communication pipes close to the surface.

“In the Southampton area where the technology was first rolled out this has helped bring down leakage to under ten per cent.”