Thames Water curbs leakage through investment boost

Thames Water invested £498.6m on improvements last year and managed to keep leakage targets on track, according to its interim financial report.

Leakage recorded for the six month period, ending on September 30 2012, was 608 million litres a day (Mld), 65 Mld lower than Ofwat’s target of 673 Mld for the year ending 31 March 2013.

This puts the Company on track to hit its leakage reduction target for a seventh consecutive year and Thames Water puts its success down to high levels of proactive repairs of burst mains hidden beneath streets, as well as the replacement of old pipes and water pressure management.

Pollution incidents were also on the decline, recording 11 severe incidents in comparison to 19 in 2011.

It also claims to be on track to maintain investment at £1bn a year for the third year running having spent £498.6m on improvements to pipes, sewers and other facilities.

Thames Water chief executive Martin Baggs said:

“Thames Water has spent £17bn on improvements to its water and waste water infrastructure since privatisation in 1989.

“As a direct result of this investment, the quality of our customers’ tap water and the environmental compliance of our 350 sewage works are better than they’ve ever been, and leakage from our 20,000 mile network of water mains remains close to its lowest-ever level.

“This transformation would never have been possible under public ownership.”

However, the utility company saw a slump in profits with its post-tax profit falling by £19m from 2011 to £127.6m – a decrease of 13%.

In addition, its underlying operating profit was diminished by £22m, which the company blames on rising inflation and customer bad debt.

Baggs remained upbeat.

“Despite this, we are determined to continue delivering record levels of investment to improve services for our customers both now and in future,” he said.

Conor McGlone

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