Anglian Water on course to install over 1 million upgraded water meters to help tackle Covid demand increase

15 July 2021


Anglian Water is swiftly moving along with the installation of 1.1million new upgraded water meters for homes and businesses across the region as part of a five-year project investing more than £180 million.


Since the first lockdown in March 2020, water consumption has increased by 10%, with the average person using 146 litres of water a day, compared to 133 litres 18 months ago. This is mainly due to most people being at home resulting in toilets being flushed more, and people using more water in the garden during the warmer weather. Anglian’s largest ever water metering installation programme will help customers better understand their water usage, plus detect leaks quicker both on the customer side and Anglian Water networks, in a bid to save this precious resource.


Anglian Water’s region is the driest in the UK receiving a third less rainfall than anywhere else in the country, meaning future water scarcity is the most significant challenge the company faces. Helping customers use less water forms a substantial part of Anglian’s Water Resources Management Plan (WRMP). The document sets out how the water company will meet the increasing demands of customers, combined with the significant pressures of a changing climate and fast-growing population, and balance them with the needs of the wider environment over the next 25 years and beyond.


The upgraded metering programme is just one part of this plan to protect future water resources, alongside tackling leakage and installing around 500km of new strategic water mains. Without taking this combined action the region will face a water deficit of 30 million litres of water a day by 2025. That’s a shortfall of 4,380 Olympic swimming pools of water, every year.


The mass installation programme began last year and will see this project continue over the next four years to reach their 1.1million target. With over 200,000 installed and activated so far this year, the water company is well on their way to reaching its goal.


Ian Rule, Director of Water for Anglian Water said:


“Our WRMP outlines our approach to tackling the significant challenges we’re facing; in part by managing the demand for water by installing upgraded meters to help customers understand their water usage, as well as helping us to pinpoint property-side leaks which can lose hundreds of litres of water a day.”


So far, of the 200,000 new meters installed almost 15% of households have been identified as having a leak, and Anglian Water are proactively contacting customers to inform them. To date, by helping customers find leaks Anglian Water has saved six million litres of water since January. The most common leaks have been found on customer toilets, wasting around 450 litres a day.


Ian continued: “Water is essential for life and supporting our communities is vital in our quest to save water and is central to our plans to tackle water shortages.  By working with our customers and encouraging small changes to water use habits we can meet the increasing demands of our customers.”


Ways to help save water include:


Check for a leaky loo

Simply wipe the back of the toilet bowl, if not used for at least 30mins, with toilet paper and test if it’s dry. If the paper gets wet, then it indicates there could be a leak.


Reduce your shower by two minutes

Shower for two minutes less every day and save 15 litres per minute. That’s like filling your reusable bottle 16 times.


Turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth

Turn the tap off between rinses when brushing your teeth and you can save 60 litres a day per household!


Collect every drop of free water

Collect rainwater in butts in your garden and use this for your plants. A full butt is enough to fill a watering can 25 times!


Reuse pool water

If you don’t already have a water butt, use your paddling pool water to feed you plants. Reusing every drop will make a real difference in the dry summer months.


Current locations being upgraded to the new smart meter are the most water stressed and fastest growing parts of Anglian’s region including areas in Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Essex and Lincolnshire. Teams are working around the clock to install and activate the meters and with very little disruption for most customers as meters are typically located outside the home.


For further information about the smart meter upgrade programme visit here.