How we find and fix leaks

It’s really important that we find and fix leaks as quickly as possible. Not only does it help us to keep our customers flowing, but it means we’re saving water too. It’s a big job with over 20,000 miles of water pipes, but it’s a top priority for us.

We’ve a team of technicians out every night looking and listening for leaks using specialist equipment, these leaks then get reported back, investigated and repaired.

But we still need your help. Without you, we wouldn’t find half as many leaks as we do. So please keep reporting them to us and we’ll come out and fix them as soon as possible. Here’s a video on how we fix leaks and why it can sometimes take a while.

Improving our network

Since privatisation 26 years ago, we’ve invested over £11bn in upgrading our network to reduce leaks and bursts and improve services to you.

Over the past decade we have replaced over 1,600 miles of cast-iron Victorian water mains with tough new plastic pipes less prone to leaks and bursts.

This has helped us beat our leakage targets for the past nine years, cutting leakage by 13 per cent over the past five years.

In the next five years, from 2015 to 2020, we’ll be investing almost £5bn more to continue our upgrade of water pipes, sewers and other facilities.

Here’s more about how we’re replacing London's Victorian water pipes.

Winter challenges

Freezing weather conditions, like those we experienced in January 2013, mean that we have to work even harder to stay on top of leakage.

Our pipes, especially the old cast-iron ones burst more when the water in our reservoirs cools below 5 degrees C. When this water goes through the pipes, it makes them shrink and where there are weak spots, they can break.

In such cases, the number of leaks and bursts can quadruple, so we have to plan ahead to ensure that we are well-placed to cope with the challenge when it arrives.