Water company invents anti-leakage gadgetLeakfrog could cut waste by a quarter, says Thames

28 December 2007

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Boffins at a water company have invented a new device aimed at reducing the millions of litres of water lost through leaking pipes by up to a quarter, it was announced today.

Thames Water said the invention, called Leakfrog, will boost its programme of cutting leakages, which account for around 25% of all water lost in its supply area.

The device is attached to a water meter overnight and will show if any water is being lost.

Leaks from customers' pipes

John Halsall, Thames Water's director of water services, said: 'We are making great progress on tackling leakage, but it's still our biggest priority.

'While huge savings are being made through our Victorian mains replacement programme across London, up to a quarter of all leakage - around 170 million litres a day - is actually from pipe work belonging to customers.

'Until now, this water loss has been extremely difficult to pinpoint and account for. Now, with Leakfrog we can get a better idea of how much water is leaking from the customer's side.'

Waste of water

Mr Halsall added: 'Leaks are not only an unnecessary waste of water, but left undetected can add hundreds of pounds to bills and cause damage to the property.

'Often customers are unaware if they have leaking pipes. Leakfrog will help identify them, but we would also advise any customers who have seen bills rise by unusually high amounts to contact our customer centre or a qualified plumber.'

Nic Clay-Michael, special projects manager at Thames Water, and one of the inventors, said: 'The devices have been specially designed so that they can be easily fitted, in large numbers, to our meters, and they tell us if a leak is present, something our previous methods haven't been able to do on such a large scale.'

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