Anglian Water Business warns region’s firms over cost of leakages

Water companies are responsible for fixing leaks within the public mains network but businesses are

Water companies are responsible for fixing leaks within the public mains network but businesses are responsible for those which occur on their own premises - which can easily go undetected. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

Businesses in East Anglia are wasting thousands of pounds a year by failing to identify and tackle water leaks, according to Anglian Water Business.

Lucy Darch, chief executive of Wave.

Lucy Darch, chief executive of Wave. - Credit: Archant

It says an audit of its larger customers has revealed 643,000 cubic metres of “unexplained” water usage – equivalent to 257 Olympic swimming pools – which is most probably attributable to on-site leakage.

Lucy Darch, chief executive of Wave, a new joint venture involving Anglian Water Business and NWG Business, the business arm of Essex and Suffolk Water owner Northumbrian, said: “Water leaks often go undetected for months, as they are invisible above ground, but the costs can be considerable.

“For example, a leak of one cubic metre per hour costs on average £70 each day or £25,715 over the course of a year. At a time when many companies are working hard to reduce their overheads and maximise profitability, these are unnecessary costs that should be addressed.

“We’re committed to helping our customers do just that with a free leak alert service for all businesses that notifies them if we detect an unusual increase in water use so that they can take appropriate action to repair it. We also offer efficiency services which monitor water use and proactively suggest opportunities to save water and costs.”

Water industry regular Ofwat estimates that around a quarter of all water in the supply network is wasted due to leaks in the customer-side pipe network, equivalent to 3.123bn litres every day.

Although water companies are responsible for the public supply network, businesses are responsible for resolving any leaks within the boundaries of their own properties.

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Lucy Darch added: “Not only do leaks increase consumption and therefore bills, they can also reduce water pressure, which can impact on productivity and health and safety for a diverse range of sectors, including farming, manufacturing and food processing.

“They can also lead to flooding and damage to buildings, so postponing repairs to leaking pipes can lead to considerable additional costs and business interruption too.

“And, for businesses that treat and pump water on site, loss of water pressure can also result in increased energy consumption, leading to even greater financial and environmental costs.”