Thames Water says a leak finding device nicknamed LeakFrog is saving more than 10 million litres of fresh drinking water every day.
Designed by four Thames Water engineers, the device is fitted on to a property’s water meter and measures the rate at which water passes.
Thames says of 70,000 properties which have had the device fitted since 2008, more than 2,000 have needed a pipe repaired or replaced.
Thames Water modeller and LeakFrog co-creator, Leo Kiernan, said: “Up to a quarter of all leakage is from pipes belonging to customers.
“Leaks are not only a terrible waste of water but, if left undetected, can add hundreds of pounds to metered bills and cause damage to properties.”
Although property owners are responsible for maintaining their supply pipe and all internal pipework and fittings, Thame says it will provide a subsidy towards any repair or pipe replacement work “in most circumstances “.
The company says reducing water wastage and leakage “is as important as ever right now as we face the prospect of a very dry summer.”
LeakFrog’s success has been welcomed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds which says saving water has a positive impact on the environment.
RSPB head of water policy Rob Cunningham says: “Tackling leakage and waste keep more water in the environment, helping to support healthy numbers of fish and other wildlife.
”The RSPB applauds the success of Thames Water’s ‘LeakFrog’ in reducing water wasted from customers’ supply pipes and hopes that this simple but innovative tool is more widely adopted.”