Did you know that here in the UK, more than 17 billion litres of water travel through hundreds of thousands of kilometres of pipes every day?

It’s part of a water supply network that meets the needs of over 65 million people.

Some sections of the network date back to Victorian times and a wide range of materials, like iron, lead and plastics, have been used in its construction.

Not surprisingly, leaks can occur.

How are we involved?

We monitor leaks and how the water companies respond to them.

In addition, the industry regulator Ofwat has put leakage management standards in place, as well as annual leakage targets that each water company must not exceed.

Ofwat can fine a company that fail to meet its targets, although it tends to put legal agreements in place to ensure companies spend appropriately to minimise leaks instead.

Companies that miss their targets must explain how they’ll put things right.

We work closely with Ofwat to monitor this activity on behalf of water consumers. We also collect information from companies every six months to so that we can identify any concerns we have early and raise them with companies.

All the water companies operate ongoing improvement programmes. In general, we think targets could be stricter and water companies could do more to address leakage.