Weather forecasting predicts mains bursts

The Met Office and Thames Water have produced a new winter Burstcast service which uses a meteorological forecast to predict the likely number of mains pipe bursts almost a week in advance.

Burscast is designed to anticipate the number of additional bursts in cast-iron underground pipes due to cold weather. This enables water companies to have response teams in the right place at the right time, thereby providing a higher quality of service to customers through the winter months.

The system uses a specialised meteorological forecast developed through research by The Met Office and Thames Water. It is able to forecast the total number of cast iron pipe failures up to four days in advance, targeted by local regions. This information, which is updated daily, will allow water companies to produce contingency plans and ensure speedier repairs to reduce water loss and unnecessary costs.

“Burscast will enable water companies to improve their services throughout the winter months,” said Mary Clarke, a water industry consultant at the Met office. “By working in close association with Thames Water, we have produced an accurate system to reduce the disruption caused by cast-iron pipe failure during cold spells.”

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