Thames Water ordered to fix water leaks by Environment Agency
Thames Water has been ordered to improve its leak reduction plans by the Environment Agency (EA).
Amid rising pressure on water firms and their sewage discharges, the EA said Thames Water must deliver on the promises made in its draft water management plan for 2024.
Noting that Thames Water had reported more leaks than any other water firm in England, the EA said the company had “struggled” to control issues.
Although Thames Water has set out measures to improve performance, the EA said the company’s 2019 scheme had “set out similar measures”, adding: “A plan is nothing without delivery.”
Among the main proposals put forward by Thames Water are to build a new reservoir in Oxfordshire as well as taking water from the River Thames at Teddington.
The water company also suggested transferring water from the River Severn to the River Thames.
A spokesperson for Thames Water said: “Reducing leakage is a priority for us and is one of the foundations of the plan.
“Even with an ambitious target of halving leakage by 2050, we still need more storage in the future to account for growing population demand and climate change.â¯”
Last December, two water mains burst in Camden causing a residential street to be flooded with water. At the time, 25 people were evacuated to safety while 100 properties were affected.
This comes as the Lib Dems have called for a dedicated team within the EA to cope with water companies pumping sewage into rivers and coastlines.
Following a question in the House of Commons by former leader of the party, Tim Farron, it was revealed that of the two teams at the EA dealing with water pollution, neither works full-time on the issue.
Mr Farron said: “Ministers are tone deaf on the sewage crisis. They should be throwing the kitchen sink at this. Instead they appear to be sitting on their hands and starving the EA of resources.
“The Environment Agency needs to have a dedicated team working non-stop on water pollution. Most importantly of all, they need more resources and staff to get on top of this.”