Local MP Norman Baker has today written to Southern Water and South East Water to encourage them to tap into local small plumbing businesses to cut water leakage from households' dripping taps.
This table shows water leakage for all water companies for 2010/11 - (xlsx spreadsheet)
The first hosepipe ban of 2012, which is the first in the area for over five years, came into effect on the 5th of April, and while many will acknowledge that it has been a dry period over the last half year or so, many are also quite rightly asking the question: "Why are water companies not doing more to stop water leaking out of the system, rather than just forcing people to cut consumption?"
In 2010/11 Southern Water failed to meet its leakage targets and leaked 96 megalitres or water per day. South East Water fared a little better by meeting its target, but still leaked 95 megalitres a day. However, this does not paint the full picture as these figures do not consider the vast amounts of water that is wasted through leaking household taps. Indeed, research from the water efficiency organisation Waterwise has estimated that a dripping tap can waste over 5,500 litres per year - enough to fill up a paddling pool every week for the whole summer.
So what is the solution to the leaky taps problems? The local MP believes that the water companies should work with local plumbers to provide a subsidised tap fixing service where the customer and water company shares the cost. A broad estimate would suggest that this could save over 10,000 litres of water for every two leaky taps and when one considers that the average daily water use is around 150 litres per person, fixing just two taps could supply 66 days of water use. Not only that, but the idea could help to support local plumbers in tough economic times.
Norman says: "Most of us have experienced a leaky tap in our homes, but I do not doubt we would all be surprised by just how much water a leaky tap wastes. When we currently have a local hosepipe ban I think water companies should be looking at all the possible ways that we can prevent waste and fixing leaking taps is most certainly one of those ways. I am therefore encouraging the local water companies to tackle this problem and do so in a way that supports local small businesses. I am very hopeful that they will take forward my suggestion."
Contact Norman at:
23 East Street,
Tel: (01273) 480281.
Fax: (01273) 480287.