Hosepipe Ban Introduced, Despite Water Leak Rates
As we’re all very well aware, we’re in the middle of a glorious heatwave – glorious for sunbathers and sun worshippers, yes, but less glorious for our dwindling water supplies. And in fact, a hosepipe ban has just been brought in for the north-west of the country, with United Utilities – the region’s water supplier – saying that the ban will come in from August 5th.
A hosepipe ban has already been introduced in Northern Ireland, Sky News reports, and people are now being warned by other suppliers not to waste water.
However, water industry expert at the University of Greenwich professor David Hall observed that these bans have been implemented before the issue of water leaks has been addressed by suppliers, saying that privatised companies are incentivised not to fix too many leaks because doing so would hit their profit margins and become uneconomic.
He explained that suppliers are making huge profits, most of them taken out of the sector in dividends, while accruing debt and not reinvesting anything. And they don’t want to reduce leakage levels because the costs of this can’t be recouped unless they reduce their profits.
Mr Hall told the news source: “If the leakage levels were not so high, the daily volume of water delivered would be higher, therefore we would reach the point of hosepipe bans much later.
“Reaction to natural phenomena is something we all have to do but in 21st-century countries we should expect water companies to organise systems and plans so that when drought comes along our lives are minimally affected.”
Figures from Ofwat show that between 20 and 22 per cent of water supply is lost in England because of leaks – so it seems as though much could be done if suppliers did indeed prioritise water leak detection and repairs.
As for businesses, you too can do your part to help prevent hosepipe bans from being introduced in the future by working to see if you have any leaks on site. You might have a few without even being aware of it since the majority of water leaks are so small they’re scarcely even noticeable and occur out of sight because they’re hidden away below ground.
But bear in mind that over time the tiniest leak can soon become a big problem for your business, risking huge repair bills for serious water damage and increases in water bills because of wastage.
Unfortunately, it’s quite easy for water pipes to sustain damage, whether it’s because they’re old and are deteriorating with age, because they’ve been eroded by the weather, damage from animals or heavy vibration from traffic, poorly connected joints and valves, or accidental damage such as from work being carried out around the pipes.
If you want to avoid huge repair bills and disruption to your everyday business practices, get in touch with us here at H2O Building Services today to see how we can help.