Water leaks ‘DOUBLE’ during heatwave as earth drying out causes major underground pipe damage amid drought

WATER leaks have reportedly doubled in some areas during the continued drought as the dry earth is inflicting underground pipe damage.

Firms say the heatwave has brought about the issue which has put extreme strain on an already creaking water system.

The government on Friday officially declared a drought across swathes of England, following months of record low rainfall and soaring temperatures


The authorities on Friday formally declared a drought throughout swathes of England, following months of document low rainfall and hovering temperaturesCredit: AFP
Thames Water carry out pipe repairs in Slough


Thames Water carry out pipe repairs in SloughCredit: Alamy
Pals enjoy the sun as they walk across the parched grass in London's Hyde Park


Pals benefit from the solar as they stroll throughout the parched grass in London’s Hyde ParkCredit: PA

A warning from the Environment Agency additionally mentioned the nation’s infrastructure wants upgrading or the UK’s faces the prospect of water shortages within the subsequent 25 years.

Around three billion litres of water is misplaced day-after-day to leaks in England, in keeping with experiences.

The water regulator Ofwat, nevertheless, mentioned provisional figures steered three quarters of water corporations had been assembly their leakage targets.

Thames Water, which provides to 15million folks within the south and south east England, confirmed to the Sunday Times it has seen a doubling within the variety of leaks reported on its system since July 19 when temperatures rose above 40C.

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Its pipe had already been leaking 624m litres of water a day and put the reason for the brand new leaks right down to the motion of the earth damaging pipes as it dries out.

Temperatures this weekend are anticipated to hit a excessive of 35C with the Met Office issuing an amber warmth warning.

Government sources indicated that different water suppliers had been seeing comparable points, in keeping with a report in The Sunday Times.

Anglian Water denied the variety of leaks on its community had double however mentioned the dry circumstances meant it had devoted 500 folks to work on the leaks.

A spokesperson for the corporate mentioned: “Leakage always goes up temporarily when we get extremes of any type of weather because it places unusual pressure on the network – dry, hot, wet, doesn’t matter. It’s not doubled though and is not to do with the fire service, or the condition of our pipes, but rather changes in ground conditions. What matters is that we anticipate it, we’ve staffed up accordingly, and it’s not a surprise to us.”

David Beale, a advisor engineering hydrologist, instructed the paper: “The timber are extracting the remaining water so the bottom is shrinking barely and the previous cast-iron Victorian water mains, and the plastic pipes of the Seventies, can’t deal with it.

“The problem is that the government is not taking climate change seriously. Things will get worse but there’s nothing seriously done about it.”

Water Minister Steve Double final night time instructed provide corporations to place their clients forward of their shareholders and warned they confronted fines in the event that they didn’t repair the leaks.

He instructed The Mail on Sunday that he anticipated higher from the suppliers and mentioned they might face additional motion in the event that they didn’t make progress quickly.

An investigation by the paper discovered that water corporations have paid £3billion in dividends this yr to shareholders, Money which may have been used to restore leaks, cease sewage air pollution, construct new infrastructure and Help peg family payments.

The paper additionally revealed that water corporations have money owed of greater than £60bn, with curiosity alone rising by nearly £1b final yr.

Currently, greater than 30m folks in England and Wales face or are already below restrictions which dictate the quantity of water they will use.

Welsh Water, Southern Water and South East Water have already imposed hosepipe bans and Yorkshire Water has introduced a ban will start on August 26.

Thames Water has additionally warned it may introduce a ban inside weeks.

Mr Double final night time mentioned: “Water corporations should proceed to speculate extra, together with to stop leakage and work sooner to repair leaks.

“We are shedding someplace between 15 to twenty per cent yearly by way of leakage, which isn’t acceptable.

“Progress has been made however my message to water corporations is they should prioritise clients, not shareholder returns. If we don’t see the progress we count on, we received’t hesitate to take additional motion.

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“The public and Government rightly expect more from our water companies.”

Locals in a single Surrey village had been compelled to queue up for bottled water after provides from Thames Water failed due to “technical issues” at its Netley Mill water therapies works.

A jogger running through an arid Blackheath Common in south east London


A jogger operating by way of an arid Blackheath Common in south east LondonCredit: LNP
Hundreds of households in Surrey woke up to low pressure or no water at all


Hundreds of households in Surrey woke as much as low strain or no water in any respectCredit: Martin Bamford/SurreyStay

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