A union group has slammed a major water company for wasting water through “leaky infrastructure” after it announced a hosepipe ban.

GMB, a general trade union with more than 460,000 members, said that a hosepipe could be left on constantly since before the Queen was on the throne and you still wouldn’t have used as much as Thames Water wastes in 24 hours.

The group claimed that Thames Water wastes the same amount of water as having a hosepipe on for more than 73 years – every single day.

Thames Water are enforcing a hosepipe ban as of today, August 24, which will reach 10 million customers.

But - GMB argued – due to Thames Water’s creaking infrastructure, it loses 635 million litres in leaks every single day.

Enough to fill 245 Olympic sized swimming pools or fill 8 million baths.

It further stated that last year Thames Water handed its directors more than £4 million, with the highest paid director trousering £1.5 million – up 67 per cent from the previous year.

Read more: All the Oxfordshire road closures you need to know about this week

GMB has long campaigned for water to be brought back into public hands.

GMB National Secretary Andy Prendergast said: “From today, 10 million people across the southeast can no longer use their hosepipe.

“Meanwhile every single day, Thames Water wastes enough water to have a hosepipe on for more than 70 years.

“Instead of spending money to fix the leaky infrastructure, they’re showering directors with eye-watering sums.

“It’s jaw-dropping incompetence and greed.

“Privatising water has been a disastrous failed experiment, it’s time to bring this essential natural resource back into public hands.”

A Thames Water spokesperson said: “We know it’s not acceptable to be losing so much precious water and we’re doing something about it.

“It’s not going to be quick, but we’re making progress and we’ve met our target for the last three years to reduce leaks by 10 per cent.

“Our aim is to reduce our leakage by 20 per cent between 2020 and 2025.

“We have 160 repair teams working tirelessly to fix leaks with activity taking place seven days a week and over 280 people working round the clock and mainly overnight to detect leaks not yet appearing at ground level. 

“We are repairing over 1,100 leaks per week – whether they are visible or hidden below ground.

“We also have an extensive capital programme to help us fix more leaks in the future.

“In the next 3 years we will spend over £55 million installing dynamic pressure management helping to modulate pressure across our network for varying demands, helping reduce leakage.

“And in the next 3 years we will spend close to £200 million on replacing water mains.”


Read more from this author

This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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