Southern Water pins efficiency hopes on ‘LeakBot’ trial


Southern Water pins efficiency hopes on ‘LeakBot’ trial

  • LeakBot will be introduced in a trial to over 1,000 customers in the group’s area

Under fire water company Thames Water has partnered with a home tech insurance claims prevention specialist to cut down on leakages with use of a new tool.

Southern Water, which provide water to over 2.5million homes in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, West Sussex, East Sussex and Kent, will introduce Ondo InsurTech’s ‘LeakBot’ in a trial to over 1,000 customers.

LeakBot is a self-install solution that connects to the home wireless network and, if it detects a leak, notifies the customer via the LeakBot mobile app and provides access to a team of expert LeakBot engineers to ‘find and fix’ the problem.

Southern Water, which currently sits on a £5.2billion debt pilew,  has ranked among the poorest performers in the struggling UK water industry, having faced criticism for its record on pollution in particular. 

Southern Water will introduce LeakBot in a trial to over 1,000 customers

LeakBot is a self-install solution that connects to the home wireless network and, if it detects a leak, notifies the customer via the LeakBot mobile app

LeakBot is a self-install solution that connects to the home wireless network and, if it detects a leak, notifies the customer via the LeakBot mobile app

The group hopes to achieving similar water reduction results via the LeakBot trial as that seen during a test in Portsmouth earlier this year. 

The Portsmouth results showed LeakBot was able to prevent water leaks within the Portsmouth Water area by 60 per cent, which is estimated to be around 24 litres per day and is 67 per cent of the 36 litres a day Ofwat target.

Based on the findings, if LeakBot were rolled out to Southern Water customers, 83 megalitres of water a day could be saved – the equivalent of 32 Olympic swimming pools, according to the firm.

Tim McMahon, managing director of water at Southern Water, said: ‘There has never been a more pressing time to save every drop of water. The South East is officially water stressed. 

‘Climate change, causing hotter summers and less rainfall, and population growth means we have more people and less water to go around. So, we must act to reduce water wastage.

Based on the findings, if LeakBot were rolled out to Southern Water customers, 83 megalitres of water a day could be saved which is the equivalent of 32 Olympic swimming pools

Based on the findings, if LeakBot were rolled out to Southern Water customers, 83 megalitres of water a day could be saved which is the equivalent of 32 Olympic swimming pools

‘We’re working with our customers reduce water use and are exploring new technology to help us find and fix more leaks quickly in our network. 

‘We’ve been impressed by the results of the activity we’ve seen so far from LeakBot and we’re looking forward to seeing the impact this technology could have on reducing leaks and improving engagement in the Southern Water area.’

Earlier this year, Ofwat claimed that around 20 per cent of water running through pipes in England and Wales is currently being lost to leakage and has identified this an issue of growing importance amid population growth and climate change. 

In June, the water industry watchdog gave the green light to the acceleration of around £2.2billion worth of investments to reduce leaks and river pollution.

Ofwat approved 33 investment schemes put forward by water companies, which include measures to improve water quality and install smart meters.

The first tranche of investments is set to begin in the next two financial years, from 2023 to 2025, with projects to be completed by 2030.

Craig Foster, Ondo CEO, said: ‘We’re increasingly excited about the opportunity to work with water companies to reduce water wasted through leaks.

‘When combining the business cases for both water companies and insurers, we have a proposition which could scale quickly and really add benefit to both industries and their customers. 

‘To get us closer to this large-scale opportunity, we’re looking forward to working with Southern Water on our second pilot within the water industry.’

Water damage is the single biggest cause of home insurance claims, accounting for $17bn of claims every year in the USA and UK combined. 





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