Yorkshire Water is to recruit about 70 new leakage inspectors as it looks to cut the volume of water wasted by leaks in its pipe network by 40% by 2025.
Already, 40 leakage inspectors have been employed and up to 30 more will be recruited in the coming months.
Once all the vacancies have been filled, it will bring the firm’s total team of leakage inspectors to 230, who together with an additional team of 113 field technicians, deal with approximately 120 leaks per day to help protect water supplies.
Since November, the firm has had to respond and repair over 2,300 water mains, with the recent freezing temperatures contributing to bursts and cracks occurring.
The new leakage inspectors will work for Yorkshire Water and RPS, a leakage detection specialist consultancy contracted to Yorkshire Water. These inspectors will be positioned throughout Yorkshire and operate seven days a week including night work.
Over the last five years, the firm has had to repair on average 5,400 water main per annum. Bu embracing cutting-edge technology including drones, satellites and ‘acoustic ears’ this will also help cut its leakage rate by a significant 40 per cent.
Andrew Roach, Yorkshire Water’s newly-appointed Head of Water Distribution, said: “As we drive towards our challenging leakage reduction target the new inspectors form a key part of our vital front-line teams who tackle leakage 24/7 in all weathers. Our ambitious targets will deliver benefits for our customers and the environment. We will also need the help of the people of Yorkshire to ensure we find leaks quickly, enabling our teams to carry out efficient repairs.”
In what is believed to be a first in the industry, Yorkshire Water is considering adopting an “open data” approach, allowing the growing Yorkshire-based community of independent data scientists secure access to its data streams. This will enable the company to work with digital developers to help find solutions to pollution and leakages.