Attack of the drones - Anglian Water use thermal imaging drones to detect water leaks

Thermal imaging drones used in fight against water leaks. Picture: ANGLIAN WATER

Thermal imaging drones used in fight against water leaks. Picture: ANGLIAN WATER - Credit: Anglian Water

Anglian Water has become the first water company to trial thermal imaging drones to detect leaking water pipes.

The new technology has already been used to successfully identify leaks in the rural villages of Southery and Wissington, and further trials are planned for the rural areas close to Downham Market, Kings Lynn, Swaffham, Cromer and Mundesley.

With nearly 24,000 miles of water pipe to keep an eye on, Anglian Water hopes the aerial technology will help reduce the cost and time taken to find a leak and pinpoint its location more precisely by spotting changes in soil temperature near the water pipes.

Spokesperson Emma Staples said: 'We've invested £60m to better manage the water pressure in our network of pipes, dramatically reducing the number of bursts by the end of 2020.

'The drones have already saved us time and money finding and fixing hard-to-spot leaks. We'll continue to trial them over the coming months.'

It costs £650 for each leakage investigation using drones and finding these hard to spot leaks and repairing them can save up to £7,500 in water lost through leakage in the long term.

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