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6 water firms miss leakage targets

December 6, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Six water companies have been mentioned in Ofwat’s annual report for having failed to hit their leakage targets. There are 21 companies in total, so the fact that six of them failed to hit their targets is quite worrying. However, there was some better news as Ofwat revealed that most of the companies provided a good service to consumers.

The worst offender was Yorkshire Water, which lost 295 million litres of water a day in the 2009/10 period. Other companies to miss their targets included Dee Valley, Northumbrian, Cambridge and Veolia Central.

The fact that so many companies missed their targets was made all the more surprising in view of the fact that every company has hit its targets for the last two years. Ofwat is surely going to be looking for answers as to why this year should have been so much worse.

One likely explanation is that the coldest winter in over 30 years is partly to blame. This led to areas of ground being covered by snow, which can make it more difficult to spot the leaks. Also, the action of freezing and thawing can cause ground movement which can burst the pipes.

Despite the excuse of the cold weather, Ofwat said that companies that fail to meet their leakage targets will have to improve. Water lost through pipe leakages is on such a vast scale that hitting the targets is a very serious issue. If the companies continue to fail to reach their targets then this could have serious repercussions for the whole of the UK if we are affected by any more droughts.

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