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Severn Trent losing 109 million gallons of water a day

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Severn Trent  is losing enough water in a single year to fill more than 83,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, due to burst and cracked pipes in the West Midlands.

Severn Trent is losing enough water in a single year to fill more than 83,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools, due to burst and cracked pipes in the West Midlands.

Severn Trent Water is now being monitored after failing to hit targets – and could could even face a fine if water continues to be lost at such a rate.

The figures are revealed just days after a drought was declared in the West Midlands and Staffordshire and householders told to use water sparingly.

The latest figures from watchdog Ofwat show that in 2010/2011, Severn Trent Water lost 497 mega litres every day – the equivalent of 109 million gallons.

It is enough to fill 72,562 average Olympic swimming pools in a year.

South Staffordshire Water's daily leakage was was some 73 mega litres, just under its target of 74. That is enough water to fill 83,000 pools if combined with Severn Trent.

Ofwat spokesman Benedict Fisher said Severn Trent Water was being monitored after it exceeded the 2010/2011 average daily leakage target set by Ofwat of 483 mega litres. Severn Trent insists it will meet its targets this year.

"It does sound like a lot of water – especially as the area is now in drought," said Mr Fisher. "But it has to be balanced against the fact leakage has reduced significantly since the 1990s."

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He said it would be impossible to reduce the amount of leakage significantly without hiking up water bills.

Severn Trent spokesman Roger Clark said: "The main reason for this was the winter weather, which was one of the worst for 100 years and caused a lot of bursts."

Meanwhile, South Staffs director Colin Wayper today said leakage management was a priority for the firm.

By David Lumb

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