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Catchment Management

Hundreds of leaks fixed as freezing temperatures affect water main network

Yorkshire Water has reported that due to the freezing temperatures this winter, it’s team of leakage inspectors have had to repair 851 burst pipes in the last three months alone.

In December, a record 1,100 leaks on the water system were repaired – which is the most in a single month since the winter of 2010 when temperatures dropped to -14 °C in parts of Yorkshire.

The sub-zero weather causes underground pipes to contract and thaw, resulting in leaks or bursts occurring which are then fixed by Yorkshire Water.

Places in the region that have seen the highest number of water pipes repairs this year are Leeds (656), Sheffield/Barnsley (562), and Kirklees (550).

To enhance customer service on this issue, Yorkshire Water has removed the time limit on the number of free supply pipe repairs customers can receive. The new initiative means household properties are no longer limited to one free supply pipe repair every two years.

Andrew Roach, Yorkshire Water‘s Head of Water Distribution said: “We have a dedicated team of over 200 leakage inspectors who are very busy maintaining water mains and preventing water supply disruptions. The prolonged freezing weather has led to a spike in our repair work, but we are committed in the long term to reducing our leakage rate by a massive 40 per cent by 2025 as we know this is what customers demand and deserve from us.”

Over the last five years, the firm has had to repair on average 5,400 water mains per annum. The use of cutting-edge technology including drones, satellites and ‘acoustic ears’ will also be used to help save millions of litres of water.

If customers spot a leak they are being asked to report it via Yorkshire Water’s report a leak webpage.

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