Fixing and upgrading our network
It's everyone's water
No matter who you are, we all need water. It belongs to everyone - from people to wildlife, businesses to schools and we're committed to safeguarding it for us all.
We're thinking ahead and acting now, using our expertise to solve urgent problems of today while we build a new world of water for tomorrow. One where no drop is wasted, every pipe is fighting fit and our natural environment is protected at every turn.
We’re working hard to fix leaks
For the past three years, we’ve hit our targets to cut down on leaks.
Since 2020, we’ve reduced water lost to leakage by around 10% – and we’re not stopping there. For 2025, we’re doubling our goal to 20%.
We’re working round the clock fixing leaks and upgrading the rest of our Victorian-era pipework for the 21st century. To help find and fix leaks quicker, we've also invested in an artificial intelligence (AI) system called FIDO.
Last year, we:
- fixed over 60,000 leaks – that’s around 1,100 leaks a week
- invested £25 million in replacing over 50km of leaky water mains
- continued to roll out smart meters to spot leaks in homes and businesses – totalling over 700,000 to date
Going forward we're:
- investing £200 million to replace old water mains with shiny new pipes
- spending £55 million on new equipment to help track water pressure
- installing thousands more smart meters in homes and workplaces like yours
- investing in artificial intelligence to find and fix leaks quicker
Check your home and report a leak
Did you know a whopping 25% of leaks actually happen at home or in the workplace? Check your home for a leak to help save water.
You can only spot some of our leaks on pavements or roads. Many more are buried deep underground. If you spot a leak outside of your house or in a public place, let us know, you could help us save water too.
What happens when you report a leak
We prioritise fixes based on how much water a leak is losing as well as the disruption it's causing.
Sometimes, we need to wait for a permit before we can dig up a road, but we'll always come and sort it as soon as we possibly can.
If the pipes in a tricky position or close to a gas main, we'll dig down to it by hand. We may need to turn off your water for a little while. Once we're all done, we'll resurface the road.
Why leaks happen
We maintain a network of over 20,000 miles of water pipes. That’s enough to circle the moon – twice!
Our pipes are connected by millions of joints, which are under pressure 24 hours a day. Leaks can spring up for lots of reasons, including:
During heatwaves and cold snaps, our pipes swell, shrink or move in the ground, which boosts the risk of a burst occurring on our network.
When lots of people use more water, the pressure on our pipes jumps up. After the hot weather in summer 2022, leaks doubled as demand hit a 27-year high in some places.
Lots of our pipes were built when Queen Victoria was still on the throne. They’re buried beneath some of London’s busiest streets, which makes replacing them a huge challenge.
Leaks are inevitable on a network as large as ours, but that’s why it’s so important to fight back.