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Hose Pipe Ban as 400m Litres Wasted Daily

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

 

GMB REVEALS UNITED UTILITIES WASTE 400M LITRES OF WATER A DAY AS NORTH WEST FACES HOSEPIPE BAN

Millions of people in the North West are facing shortages while United Utilities let more than 175 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of water go down the plug hole every single day, says GMB Union

GMB, the union for the water industry, has revealed United Utilities waste more than 430 million litres every day while people in the North West face a hosepipe ban.

United Utilities, who provide water homes businesses across the North West, said a temporary ban would affect seven million people in the region from August 5. [1]

But the latest leakage figures for United Utilities show 439,200,000 litres of treated water are wasted each day. [2]

That represents a whopping 133 litres of water per day per household - the equivalent of a full bath tub and washing machine cycle thrown away in every home.

In total, water companies across England and Wales lost 3 billion litres of treated water every single day in 2017. [See note 3 for a breakdown of leakages for the nine major water companies]

An investigation by GMB last month reveal the boss of United Utilities private water company trousered a whopping £12 million in salary, bonuses, pensions and other benefits over the past five years.

The CEO of the North West water company took home £2,310,000 in 2017 alone – twelve times more than PM 49% more than in 2013. [3]

A study from the National Audit Office showed that people's water bills have increased by 40% above inflation since the water industry was privatised by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1989. [4]

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer, said:

“Millions of people in the North West are facing a hosepipe ban while United Utilities let more than 175 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of water go down the plug hole every single day. [5]

“It’s a disgrace that customers face a £1,000 fine as private water fat cats trouser millions, all the while failing to invest to tackle leakages.

 “While we have had hot weather, the UK uses less than 2% of the water that falls from the sky each year and which flows into the sea.”

“Whatever the weather, we need to take back the tap and ensure our water services are run in the interests of the public once more and not just the few at the top.

ENDS

Contact: Stuart Fegan on 07912 890434 or GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or atpress.office@gmb.org.uk

[1] https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-44850128

[2] The figures are from the Consumer Council for Water's report 'Water, water, everywhere' published in December 2017 (Tables 1 and 2) https://www.ccwater.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Water-water-everywhere-Delivering-a-resilient-water-system-2016-17.pdf

[3]

Company leakage per day (000,000s)

2016-17

   

Water and sewerage companies

 

Anglian

180.0

Northumbrian

133.8

Severn Trent

431.6

South West

84.4

Southern

88.1

Thames

677.2

United Utilities

439.2

Wessex

68.4

Yorkshire

295.2

   

Total leakage from big 9 water & sewerage companies

2397.9

[4] http://www.gmb.org.uk/newsroom/water-fat-cats

[5] National Audit Office report: The Economic Regulation of the Water Sector, page 9 (2015) https://www.nao.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/The-economic-regulation-of-the-water-sector.pdf         

[6] Olympic sized swimming pool contain 2,500,000 litres of water:

Olympic size pools measure: 50 metres long, 25 metres wide, and a minimum of 2 metres deep. (25m x 50m x 2m = 2,500m3; 1L = 0.001m3 so 2,500 x 1000 = 2,500,000L)

439,200,000 (litres wasted per day)/2,500,000 = 175.68

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