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We aim to reduce leaks by 15% by 2025 but we need your help.

Community Manager
Community Manager

In a bid to help reduce the amount of water wasted by leaks, we have recently signed leak detection contracts worth £200 million, to help us find and fix leaks in our pipe network. With over 32,000km of pipes, many of which are Victorian, this is a big task. Our aim is to reduce leaks by 15% by 2025, but we’ll need our customers to help us reach this goal. You can track our progress against our plan each month.


A dripping tap or leaky pipe may not seem like a big deal or even a reason to contact us, but having lots of little leaks soon adds up, causing millions of litres of water to be wasted each month. Have you noticed a leak in your garden, or in the street, or spotted our engineers working in your area? No matter how big or small, we’re looking for feedback from our customers on how we’re handling leaks. Let us know your thoughts below. 


If you have spotted a leak that needs reporting, please visit our report a leak page

Thames Water Employee

I recently had the opportunity to see one of the Thames Water detection teams in action. Amazed at what a difficult job this is and the skills required to differentiate 'false' leaks and 'real' leaks. 

Water Royalty

@JG what's the difference between a false leak and a real leak? 

Thames Water Employee

@MindTheGap  in answer to your question. My understanding (from the TW web site) is that of the leaks fixed by TW "about half are hidden leaks - these are below the surface and aren't easy to find"

These therefore need to be detected. One method TW use is to listen to the noise that resonates from customer’s water meters or from TW’s control valves. The principle being that water escaping from a pipe creates a different noise to that made when water is just normally passing through pipes. However, customer consumption and certain types of equipment (eg air conditioning units) connected to a customer’s supply can also create spurious noises.  The detection teams may have to revisit a 'noise' on several different occasions to validate it is a 'real' leak they have found and not a 'false' leak.

Hope this helps.

Water Royalty

Hi @JG thank you! It makes sense, I just never heard that expression before. Cat Happy

Thames Water Employee

As we’ve said, fixing leaks on our network is a big task.  If you’ve read our June 2019 monthly leakage report, you’ll have seen that one of the reasons for this is that 55% of our pipes are under busy London streets.  This means that to repair leaks, we have to time our work so as to minimise disruption to traffic.  We also have to apply for permission from borough councils to work on the road.  This takes careful planning and preparation, as well as time for applications to be approved.


And that’s just one of the challenges we face when fixing leaks.  We’ve created this infographic to show why fixing leaks isn’t as straightforward as it might first seem, and how we’re focussing on reducing leaks as one of our top priorities.


Leakage in numbers.png


We’re interested to get your feedback on the infographic – do you find it useful, is there anything else you’d like to know or do you have any questions?