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Doing our bit

Minimising water lost through leaks

In 2010 South West Water met its leakage target for the 14th year in a row - despite the coldest winter for more than 30 years, resulting in an exceptionally high number of burst pipes. We use a mix of traditional leak detection methods - inspectors with listening sticks - and technology including remote monitoring of the 15,000 kilometre long network from our headquarters in Exeter.

Flow meters constantly measure water passing through 750 geographical zones which helps calculate the location of bursts often deep underground and reduces the potential time lag between first suspecting a leak and arranging for repairs, resulting in less water loss.

Leaks can occur in the underground supply pipe that brings water into your home. If you have a meter, check that it stops turning when water is not being used. If it still turns, it could mean you have a leak. If you do not have a meter, watch out for wet patches on the ground that never dry out.

If you think you have a leak on your underground supply pipe please call us on 0344 346 2020* to see how we can help. Alternatively, if you have insurance (such as cover through HomeServe) please contact your insurance provider to arrange for a repair. In many cases, South West Water will be able to offer some financial assistance towards the repair. Further information can be found in our pdficon.gif icon Code of Practice on leakage for domestic customers (260kb)

Encouraging metering
More than 65% of our domestic customers are now metered. Metering makes sense because, on average customers use 12% less water than those without a meter installed. And because you only pay for water that you use, you'll also find that you have more control of your bills. Many of our customers have found that having a water meter fitted can help reduce their water bills with savings of up to £100 per year. *

*based on an average of 2.3 persons in the South West Estimate meter savings online to see if switching to a meter is right for you.

*03 numbers are charged at standard rates and will be included in any free minutes in a mobile or landline phone contract.

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