With the hosepipe ban coming into effect today, figures show exactly how long you’d need to leave a hose running to match the amount of water the utility company loses.
GMB Union, which has looked at the figures, claims that you could have had a hosepipe 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.
Ofwat figures from 2020/2021 show that Thames Water leaks 635 million litres, otherwise known as megalitres, every day from its infrastructure.
That’s enough to have a hosepipe on for 73 years, with the average garden hose using 16.67 litres of water per minute according to Southern Electric.
This is also enough to fill 245 Olympic-sized swimming pools or fill 8 million baths.
After the area was put into drought status the water company announced it would bring in a temporary usage (hosepipe) ban which it is now enforcing on 15 million customers in the region.
GMB has long campaigned for water to be brought back into public hands.
Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: “From today, 15 million people across the South West 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.
“You could have had a hosepipe on constantly since before the Queen was on the throne and you still wouldn’t have used as much as Thames Water wastes in just 24 hours.
“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.”
Swindon has been beset with a number of high-profile water and sewage leaks in recent weeks, with the most recent incident, a burst pipe leaking untreated sewage into the River Ray leading to a large-scale operation to contain it.
The Environment Agency confirmed that thousands of fish has been killed by the sewage leak and eventually aeration cannons were used to stop the leak from reaching the Thames.
The company has also come under fire for its deliberate discharging of raw sewage into rivers and beaches via storm overflows
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 year before.