50,000-litres-a-day leak spotted with smart meters

A huge leak which was losing 50,000 litres of water a day has been repaired – thanks to smart meters.

Thames Water engineers repaired the leak – which was losing the equivalent of 625 bathtubs every day – after the meter was installed on a customer’s property in Greenwich as part of its water saving smart meter programme.

If the leak had not been spotted and fixed, it would have cost the homeowner £38,325 per year, said the utility.

The leak, which the firm says is the largest one discovered by a smart meter, was spotted during routine monitoring of hourly data from the device. The customer was informed and a team of engineers were tasked to repair it.

Two leaks on the same stretch of pipe were ultimately identified, one in the garden and one in the basement.

The customer is currently on a trial period for the smart meters, and the money saving is the difference between what they would have paid if they hadn’t installed the device.

The programme, currently being rolled out across London, gives customers two years to take control of their metered usage, before switching them to a metered bill.

The aim of the smart metering programme is to reduce overall water use and improve leakage detection – aspirations under particular pressure with population growth and climate change.

Meters will help achieve this aim, says Thames Water, by giving residents access to their water use information, online or over the phone, allowing them to see how efficient their home is and track how simple water-saving efforts – like four minute showers and turning the tap off while brushing your teeth – can reduce bills.

Since the launch of the metering programme in 2015, Thames Water says it has carried out more than 60,000 Smarter Home Visits, saving around 2.5 million litres every day, the equivalent water supply for more than 6,000 homes.

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