New water meters will save up to 5m litres a day

New 'leak intelligent' water meters, installed by Southern Water in the South East of England, are estimated to save up to 5m litres of water per day once the project is completed in 2015.

Southern Water is fitting 500,000 meters for households across Hampshire, Sussex and Kent, which is officially defined as a ‘water stressed’ region, as the new leak alarms fitted to the meters will allow the water company to identify pipe leaks.

Darren Bentham, Director of Market Reform for Southern Water, said: “With around one in five leaks occurring on customers’ pipes, this will make it a lot easier to detect when water is escaping from household supply pipes or internal pipework”.

The new meters are Automated Meter Reading (AMR) meters, which means they can be read remotely by a member of the company’s meter reading team.

Mr Bentham added: “We have installed more than 200,000 new water meters under our metering programme so far, with over 2,600 alarms triggered by suspected leaks, which have then been investigated and resolved by our dedicated Leakage Team.

“It can vary from a leak on a supply pipe, to a dripping tap in a customer’s kitchen. Fixing a dripping tap can save up 5,000 litres of water a year”.

The water company said that households fitted with meters use 10% less water than those without meters, adding that in total the meters will save an estimated 17.6m litres of water per day following completion in 2015.

Leigh Stringer

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