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Thames Water signs £200m contract to hit ambitious leakage reduction targets

  • Thames Water signs £200m contract to hit ambitious leakage reduction targets

About the entity

Thames Water
Every day, we serve 15 million customers across London and the Thames Valley.

Thames Water has signed contracts worth a combined £200 million with some of the industry’s leading suppliers to find and fix more leaks than ever before across London and the Thames Valley.

The contracts, awarded for an eight-year period, were signed at Thames Water’s head office in Reading by its chief operating officer, Lawrence Gosden, and senior leaders from each of the contract partners this morning. It is expected to save the equivalent of 172 Olympic swimming pools of water every day.

Under the agreement, teams will be using a range of leak detection methods including traditional sound tests, acoustic logging and desktop modelling to accelerate Thames Water’s work to reduce leakage by 15 per cent by 2025. The new contracts have enabled the company to target higher leakage savings for 2019/20 from 370 million litres of water a day (mld) saved to 430 mld – an increase of 16 per cent.

As part of the new contract, due to begin on April 1, suppliers will be required to attend quarterly innovation forums to share the latest ideas, techniques and best practice. They will also support Thames Water’s ongoing work to trace unaccounted-for water, including the illegal use of unauthorised and unlicensed standpipes.

The contracts have been awarded on a region-by-region basis and will be managed by Thames Water’s three regional head of water networks:

  • North London: Hydrosave (reserve supplier: PN Daly)
  • South London: PN Daly (reserve supplier: RPS)
  • Thames Valley: RPS (reserve supplier: PN Daly)

A separate contract covers a preferred supplier list of five companies: Morrison Utility Services, Teccura, Crowders, Invenio and PN Daly. They will adopt a campaign-based method to leakage detection using innovative approaches to best understand full water usage within specific geographical areas. The individual area issues will be briefed to the five suppliers asking for their proposed solution and financial payment model. The process will be managed by a leakage reduction working group.

Lawrence Gosden, Thames Water, said: “Reducing leakage is a top priority for the company and our customers, so it’s vital we have the very best people working on it. Our partners will be challenged to be as innovative as possible to find leaks so we can get them fixed, especially those that are hidden underground and not visible from the surface. We are focussed on ensuring our network is fit to serve our customers now and into the future, and I’m confident investment on this scale will help us to achieve our ambitious targets.”

As part of its £11.7 billion business plan for 2020-25, Thames Water has pledged to spend £2.1bn on increasing resilience and reducing leakage by 15 per cent by 2025, with plans to halve it over the long term. In the first two months of 2019, more than 14,000 leaks were repaired by the company which is spending more than £1 million a day to tackle leakage and improve its customer service. Thames Water’s original target for saving water through leak repairs in 2019/20 was 370 million litres per day.

Quotes from Thames Water’s leakage reduction partners:

Hydrosave managing director, Simon Dray, said: “Our team at Hydrosave are delighted to be an integral part of the Thames Water leakage management strategy. We are totally committed to using the smartest technologies, with smart people and efficient operational management to achieve sustainable leakage reduction. I would like to thank Thames Water for this opportunity and their commitment to offer us a long term partnership.”

PN Daly managing director, Frank Daly, said: “PN Daly is here to make a real difference and to work very closely with Thames Water, new technology, and the other stakeholders to get genuine leakage reduction.”

RPS water director, Rob Waters, said: “We’re proud to partner with Thames Water, working together to successfully achieve their leakage outcomes. We share Thames Water’s determination to reduce leakage and deliver their promise to customers. This is a complex programme of works over the next eight years and key to our collective success will be the pragmatic application of innovative solutions.”

Morrison Utility Services contract director, Lawrence Summers, said: “Thames Water is looking to implement a step change in current performance to meet its leakage target and commitments. This agreement will see our leakage specialists delivering innovative detection services and solutions to target historically problematic DMAs, using big data and key analytics to provide insight into leakage issues and undertaking targeted asset health checks and mapping. Reducing leakage levels will limit Thames Water’s impact on the environment and we look forward to working with our client in what is a hugely important area of its operations.”

Crowder Consulting managing director, George Crowder, said: “Crowder Consulting is delighted to have been awarded a prestigious long-term contract by Thames Water for providing our services as part of their major leakage reduction programme. As a longstanding service provider to Thames Water, we are committed to maintaining our high standards of work, our innovation and the skills and expertise of our professional staff in supporting Thames. We share the goals and aspirations of Thames Water to drive down leakage by working collaboratively and by applying innovative approaches and new ways of working.”

Teccura’s Ben Beattie said: “We’re really pleased to have been awarded the contract. We’re looking forward to working with Thames Water and the other leakage partners to drive down leakage.”

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