Smart tech could help water customers with leaks

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South West Water plans to tackle customer leaks by sending smart detection technology to homes across the region.

The water company will be sending out 6,000 ‘LeakBots’ to customers in Devon and Cornwall next month as part of a new approach.

The trial will run for six months and, if successful, it could be rolled out more widely.

South West Water’s Drought and Resilience Director David Harris said the technology would help leaks be found and fixed quickly.

‘Free of charge’

The water company said the device can be clipped onto a water pipe near a stop tap and detect if there is a constant flow of water within the property.

The device can then send an alert to the customers’ smartphone.

If a leak is detected and customers are unable to fix it, South West Water said LeakBot could send out an engineer to undertake the repair ‘free of charge’.

Mr Harris said the company was always “looking at new and innovative ways of reducing leakage across the region, alongside more traditional methods”.

He added: “With around 30% of leaks now typically found on customers’ own properties, we really need the help of our customers.

“We’re excited to see the impact LeakBot will have.”

The trial is part of South West Water’s work to reduce leaks in the area and is part of a new campaign to support customers in becoming more ‘water efficient’.

‘Unnecessary wastage’

South West Water is using a range of technology to try to tackle some 2,000 leaks per month in the region.

It said it uses satellites to find water leaks two metres underground, drone pilots to cover hard to reach places and detection dogs in challenging terrain.

Craig Foster, the CEO at Ondo, the company behind LeakBot, said previous trials had achieved a “60% reduction in water leaks within the home”.

He added: “A roll-out with South West Water will allow us to help prevent unnecessary wastage through domestic leaks across the region.

“We look forward to working on the deployment of the initial 6,000 devices and seeing the results.”

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