What we're doing
- Company continues to have 500 technicians and 160 repair crews handling repairs, investigations and 40% increase in reported leaks.
- Teams found and fixed more than 2,000 leaks in a fortnight.
- Extra staff drafted in to answer customer calls and log leaks in need of repair.
Thames Water teams are continuing to work around the clock to stop leaks caused by January’s sustained freezing conditions.
Engineers have carried out more than 2,000 repairs on the company’s 20,000-mile network of pipes over the last two weeks.
With more to find and fix, however, Thames Water explained response times will continue to be slower than normal.
Thames Water’s head of water networks, Danny Leamon, said: “Last week was incredibly busy. We brought in extra staff and took people off non-emergency work to respond to the sheer number of leaks being reported, and we will continue to do that until things are back to normal.
“We know it’s frustrating for our customers to see water leaking, but I promise we will get to them all as quickly as we can – prioritising the most disruptive ones first and then continuing to work our way through the list.”
The company also explained how roadworks have to be coordinated with local highways authorities, or in some cases Transport for London, who have to approve road closures or traffic management such as temporary lights. This can sometimes also add to the time taken to get pipe repairs underway.
Thames Water said the increase in temperature over the weekend will help, but it is likely to take at least two weeks for it to have an impact on the temperature of the water in the large reservoirs which supply the network. This means the water flowing through the pipes continues to be cold even when the air temperature is milder.
Mr Leamon added: “The cold water flowing through the pipes causes them to contract. This can affect them in a number of ways; lots of small leaks can appear at joints where the pipes move out of alignment, and larger bursts occur when the pipe is placed under great stresses that cause it to fracture.”