LEAKS across Southern Water's network saw the equivalent of 39 Olympic swimming pools of water wasted every day, the latest figures show. 

Data from industry watchdog, Ofwat, show an average 98.5 megalitres was leaked by Southern Water daily during 2020/21. 

Equating to 1,231,250 baths full of water, Southern Water's leakage made it one of four water companies in the UK that didn't hit its target for reducing waste. 

Leakage is water that is lost through burst and cracked pipes and joints within water distribution networks.

The company told the Echo that tackling leakage is a "high priority" adding that it is working to fix leaks when they happen. 

READ MORE: Hampshire hosepipe ban: What it means for you

But it has now come under criticism following a hose pipe ban across the region. 

Slamming the four companies that missed their targets, trade industry Union, GMB says it has long campaigned for water to be brought under public hands. 

Andy Prendergast, GMB National Secretary, said: “Tens of millions of people face a hosepipe ban while these privatised companies let more than 500 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of water go down the plug hole every single day.  

“It’s a disgrace that customers face a £1,000 fine as private water fat cats trouser millions, all the while failing to sufficiently tackle leakage and refusing to invest in the workforce. 

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

A spokesperson for Southern Water said however: "Last year we fixed 22,000 leaks and in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight where we have a hosepipe ban is in force we’re repairing 250 a week.

"Importantly we have installed 7,000 acoustic loggers across our network which detect and pinpoint leaks and 100 of the Hampshire repairs come from this data.

"These leaks are often on major mains buried deep underground and are invisible on the surface but can lose far more water than the visible leaks from communication pipes close to the surface.

"In the Southampton area  where the technology was first rolled out this has helped bring down leakage to under 10 per cent.”

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