Yorkshire Water will employ around 70 new leakage inspectors to help meet its target of reducing the volume of water leaked from its network by 40 per cent by 2025.
The company plans to invest several million to transform its operational performance as it looks to become a “top performer” in the water industry, with tackling leakage high on its agenda.
Yorkshire Water revealed its target for leakage on 13 December 2017 following the publication of Ofwat’s PR19 methodology, which challenged water companies to reduce leakage by 15 per cent.
Forty inspectors have been recruited already and 30 more will follow in the next few months, bringing the total team of leakage inspectors to 230. They will work together with an additional 113 field technicians to deal with around 120 leaks daily.
Inspectors will work for Yorkshire Water and leakage detection consultancy, RPS, being deployed throughout Yorkshire around the clock. The company has also requested the help of residents to report leaks.
Andrew Roach, head of water distribution at Yorkshire Water, said: “As we drive towards our challenging leakage reduction target the new inspectors form a key part of our vital front-line teams who tackle leakage 24/7 in all weathers.”
Yorkshire Water has highlighted inspectors will need more than three years of leakage experience and be familiar in the safe operations of network valves in relation to health and safety, customer supply and water quality.
It aims to put £3.8 billion back in to the local economy, from 2015 to 2020. It will be employing the use of drones, satellites and “acoustic ears” which use noise to locate leaks. Along with an “open data” approach giving it access to data streams and allowing digital developers to offer solutions to pollution and leaks.
Yorkshire Water has dealt with 5,400 water main leaks per year since 2013. The company has had to respond and repair 2,300 water mains since November last year, with recent freezing temperatures contributing to bursts and cracks.
Robert Light, northern chair of the Consumer Council for Water, said: “We welcome this initiative by Yorkshire Water and their commitment to reduce leakage by 40 per cent by 2025. Leakage is an issue that really matters to water consumers and we will watch with great interest to see the difference that these new recruits can achieve.”