Posts tagged Ofwat

New Leak Testing System to Save Plumbers Money and Time

A new leak detection system which will enable plumbers to accurately identify damaged water pipes has been developed by engineers at the University of Sheffield.

The ground-breaking invention in the plumbing industry is set to significantly improve leak detection, reduce wasted water supply and help plumbers save both, time and money in carrying out repairs.

The new pipes testing system works by transmitting pressure waves along them and sends back a signal if it passes any leaks or cracks in the pipes’ surface. The strength of that signal can then be analysed to determine the location and the size of the leak.

According to the Water Services Regulation Authority (OFWAT) as much as 40 per cent of water supply is being lost through leaky pipes each year. The invention has been developed in partnership with the University’s Department of Civil Structural Engineering (DCSE) and Yorkshire Water

The device has now been trialled at Yorkshire Water’s field operators training site in Bradford and results show that it offers a reliable and accurate method of leak testing. Leaks in cast iron pipes were located accurately to within one metre, while leaks in plastic pipes were located even more precisely, to within 20cm, the University said in a statement today.

Commenting on the invention, Dr James Shucksmith, who led the trial at the DCSE, said: “We are very excited by the results we’ve achieved so far: we are able to identify the location of leaks much more accurately and rapidly than existing systems are able to, meaning water companies will be able to save both time and money in carrying out repairs.”

Dr Shucksmith explained that the system has already delivered very promising results at Yorkshire Water and that they look forward to find an industrial partner to develop the device to the point where it can be manufactured commercially.

What is your reaction to the leak detention system that will help plumbers identify pipe leaks quicker and more accurately? Share your thoughts about the environmental effects of the new invention by commenting here or raising your voice on our Facebook and Twitter page.

How to Save on Your Bills This Winter

It has been announced today that people in England and Wales will have no choice but to pay an increase of 5.7% on their annual water bills. We look at the different ways of how people could compensate that increase by making savings from their electricity bill during chilliest months of the year.

Consumers in the UK will pay more for their water bills during 2012/13, meaning an average annual bill of £376 throughout the UK, an increase of £20 per household, the water regulator Ofwat has announced.

People don’t have much choice but to pay the increase. However, as the weather turns chillier, people can consider different ways that could make savings of their electricity bill.

As the weather gets chillier, it’s tempting to warm up a room with a heater, but with concerns over energy bills people are always better checking what would work best for their needs. Not all oil filled radiators or halogen heaters consume the same amount of electricity and produce the same amount of thermal heat.

We look at some of the most conventional types of heaters, explaining their pros and cons.


  • Convection heaters – best suited for heating enclosed spaces. They operate silently and have a lower fire risk hazard.
  • Fan heaters – a good choice for quick heating of enclosed spaces. However, there is a risk of ignition if they are near furnishings and curtains.
  • Electric fires (radiative heaters) – these directly warm people and objects in the room, so may be good for warming cold feet, but can be a fire hazard.
  • Halogen heaters – the advantage of these is that they radiate, the heat generated, which is absorbed directly by us, without heating the air first. This makes them suitable for warming people in poorly insulated rooms. Halogen heaters convert up to 86% of their input power to radiant energy.
  • Oil-filled heaters – these can take longer to heat up, but retain the heat better, similar to storage heaters, and provide heat from all sides.


Ross Lammas from SUST-IT, a leading website providing practical advice on energy efficiency, said: “The best way to keep your bills down is to keep heat in and drafts out by insulating; low cost solutions such as lined curtains, draft excluders and thermal blinds will help.”


Do you know any other methods you could save from your electricity bill? Do you think a good insulation could be a permanent solution for better savings?  Share your thoughts by commenting below: 


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