Hundreds of pounds are, unknowingly, being flushed down the drain by homes across Newmarket, the culprit? A leaky loo!

22 March 2018


As part of The Smarter Drop campaign, Anglian Water has been trialling new technology across thousands of properties in the Newmarket area.

The campaign, which was set up to help Anglian Water measure customer’s water usage, launched in December 2017 and following the installation of 6,000 smart meters, will allow the water company to accurately record the water usage of these properties.


One customer in particular was very grateful for the recent installation of his smart meter after it saved him from potentially paying out hundreds of pounds caused by a leaking loo. Newmarket resident David Batten was contacted by Anglian Water back in June when the technical team received data that his property was using over 71 litres per hour, constantly, throughout the day and night.


Smart Meter Analyst Will Salmon from Anglian Water spotted water being used between 3 and 4am when customers typically wouldn’t use any water which notified the team that there might be a leak somewhere in the home.

Customer Services Representative Darren Mayhew arranged to visit Mr Batten and quickly spotted a leak in the push-button toilet.


The water intake valve was faulty causing the toilet to leak. Intake valves are found on all toilets and should shut off automatically once the tank has re-filled after flushing. But in the case of Mr Batten’s toilet, a leak on the valve meant it was constantly trying to top itself up.


The leak was accounting for 71 litres of water being wasted every hour, which added an extra £160 a month to Mr Batten’s water bill.

Darren said:

“Although pipes inside the property are the responsibility of the home owner, I put a temporary fix in whilst I was there which reduced the leak to only 3 litres per hour until a plumber could fix the toilet.”

Mr. Batten said:

“I had no idea I had a leak … I was really worried that my next bill would be almost un-payable. I am really grateful to all at Anglian Water for handling the situation so quickly for me."

Thankfully Mr Batten’s insurance meant he didn’t have to pay the extra charges.


Darren comments: Push-button toilets can commonly have undetected leaks – this is only one example of around 145 cases of leaky loos which we’ve detected since the installation of the smart meters, saving our customers water and money.


Visit The Smarter Drop campaign for more information.


Find advice on how to check for leaks.


Find out if you’re eligible for a smart meter.