Thames Water loses 227 Olympic swimming pools worth of water every day
Thames Water is losing a staggering 150m gallons of water a day through leaks – enough to fill 227 Olympic swimming pools.
That is 4m gallons more than in the previous year, driven by burst pipes during the heatwave.
At the other end of the scale, freezing cold weather in March hit the supplies of around 75,000 customers.
Profits at Thames Water fell 47.5 per cent to £67.7million in the six months to September 30 as weather took a toll
Profits at the UK’s biggest water company, fell 47.5 per cent to £67.7million in the six months to September 30 as a result.
The business has been fined more than £128million since 2017 for failing to tackle leaks, and more customers are unhappy.
It received 11,083 written complaints about disruptions to the supply, up from 8,242 a year earlier.
Boss Steve Robertson said: ‘With the Beast from the East and prolonged heatwave, 2018 has brought the threat and volatility of climate change into sharp focus.
Ready for no deal
The boss of Thames Water has dismissed scare stories that the nation's taps could run dry if Britain crashes out of the European Union with no deal.
Steve Robertson said he has been working with the state to ensure adequate supplies of treatment chemicals imported from the EU, such as chlorine.
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He said: 'We are already working on contingency plans and have no doubt there will be adequate supplies of the chemicals needed.
'There will be no disruption of water supplies in the UK.'
‘We are acutely aware of the challenges we face and we’re working hard to get back on track. We worked tirelessly to protect our customers from supply restrictions.
‘However, it has delayed our progress on leakage and other performance measures.’
Thames said its supply issues were sparked during the heatwave when it was forced to pump 17 per cent more water into the network.
Along with shifting ground, this increased the pressure on pipes and caused more bursts.
Thames said it was now spending £11.7billion on improvements and hiring around 600 more staff to help with leaks in future.
Earlier this year, Robertson agreed to forgo bonuses for the next two years after the company forked out £120million in compensation to customers and penalties for missing targets to cut leaks.
He could receive a maximum bonus of nearly £3.8million in 2020 if he hits targets to improve the company’s service.
Thames has also pledged not to pay any dividends to its new owners until 2020/21. Payments of £20million will then be handed out until 2025.