Severn Trent urged to stop leaks

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Water company Severn Trent has been urged to spend more to stop leaks - after the firm admitted that it failed to meet leakage targets, despite considerable investment in the problem.

Severn Trent spent around £20 million trying to fix leakages last year - but still didn't meet criteria implemented by watchdog Ofwat. The regulator says that leakages must total less than 525 megalitres per day, which is the equivalent of 218 Olympic size swimming pools.

The company was already in trouble with the regulator after failing to meet customer service targets - and an Ofwat spokesman has labelled its latest leakages performance as "unacceptable".

The company said in a statement that it had fixed 38,000 leaks over the course of the financial year - 8,000 more than it managed in the preceding year.

"We believe that we will not attain the annual average target level of leakage," the company said in a statement.

"We have kept Ofwat fully informed of our progress and we are in the process of finalising and verifying our leakage data for submission in our annual June return."

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