The eight-year contracts will see the suppliers use a range of leak detection methods including traditional sound tests, acoustic logging and desktop modelling to accelerate Thames Water’s work to reduce leakage by 15% by 2025.
Thames Water loses more than six million litres a day to leaks, or approximately 25% of all water that it treats and puts into its system. In June 2018 industry regulator Ofwat ordered it to pay out £120m in penalties and repayments for missing leak reduction targets. It is now planning to spend more than £2bn fixing leaks between 2020 and 2025.
The new contracts have enabled the company to target higher leakage savings for 2019/20 from 370 million litres of water a day (mld) saved to 430 mld.
As part of the new contracts, due to begin on 1st April 1, suppliers will be required to attend quarterly innovation forums to share ideas and best practice. They will also support Thames Water’s work to trace unaccounted-for water, including the illegal use of unauthorised standpipes.
- The contracts have been awarded on a region-by-region basis and will be managed by Thames Water’s three regional head of water networks:
- North London: Hydrosave (reserve supplier: PN Daly)
- South London: PN Daly (reserve supplier: RPS)
- Thames Valley: RPS (reserve supplier: PN Daly)
A separate contract covers a preferred supplier list of five companies: Morrison Utility Services, Teccura, Crowders, Invenio and PN Daly. They will adopt a campaign-based method to leakage detection using innovative approaches to best understand full water usage within specific geographical areas. The individual area issues will be briefed to the five suppliers asking for their proposed solution and financial payment model. The process will be managed by a leakage reduction working group.
Thames Water chief operating officer Lawrence Gosden said: “Reducing leakage is a top priority for the company and our customers, so it’s vital we have the very best people working on it. Our partners will be challenged to be as innovative as possible to find leaks so we can get them fixed, especially those that are hidden underground and not visible from the surface. We are focussed on ensuring our network is fit to serve our customers now and into the future, and I’m confident investment on this scale will help us to achieve our ambitious targets.”