US crime kit to arrest leakage!

Mar 13, 2007

Anti-social water pipes will feel the long arm of Severn Trent Water's law after the company adapted American crime fighting technology to clamp down on leakage. A US based IT system, initially developed to study street crime, is the latest tool being used by Severn Trent Water in helping to locate and replace poor quality water mains.

The analysis kit has been used across the pond to plot the exact locations of street crime, which then enables the police to respond and plan their response accordingly. It will now be used in Severn Trent Water's very own underground world to locate burst mains.

The novel new method of detecting leaky pipes, called cluster analysis, is a way of highlighting areas with high frequencies of incidents close to each other. It will be used as a tool alongside the company's ongoing efforts to reduce leakage, which includes employing around 160 leak detection staff and 145 repair gangs, all of whom work around the clock in a bid to fix as many suspect pipes as possible.

Distribution manager Paul Baxter said: "This American technology just goes to show that you can get good ideas from anywhere."

Leakage manager Alan Payne added: "As our distribution system becomes older it deteriorates and leakage will rise so we are currently investing more than £45 million every year replacing old pipes. This involves renewing around five miles each week, which equates to 0.75 per cent of our network being modernised on an annual basis. "We are also spending more money to find and repair leaks quicker. The American based technology is a rather unusual technique in helping us to reduce leakage, but it all helps and we want our customers to know that we will continue to do all we can, as fixing burst pipes is a priority for us."

Severn Trent Water is also urging the public to help do their bit by protecting their pipes during cold periods.

Mr Payne added: "Many people don't realise what an important role they can play in helping us drive down leakage. Burst pipes can cause distressing damage in the home, but we believe that prevention is better than cure and simple steps such as keeping the heating on low while out of the house can make a huge difference."

Further information:
Severn Trent Water
Press Office


Severn Trent Water



To website