Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Helping solve London's water shortage

Today's letter to John Penrose MP (Con) Weston Super Mare

Dear John

Would be so good as to ask the Mnister with oversight of the provision of drinking water in the South East why the Government will not request the water companies to order the use of water pumps in London's high rise buildings in order to allow them to reduce water pressure overall, and therefore the unacceptably high rate of leakage from Londons mains water supply system.

The background to this is that London's mains are in a chaotic state as a result of the hasty repairs made after bombing in the 1939-45 war. There are a huge number of leaks, and the water companies claim that there is a skill shortage, as well as a money shortage (although the latter is debatable, given the level of profit returned by water companies) to repair the leaks.

On the other hand, the rate of leakage is proportional to mains pressure, which has to be kept high in order to keep the water flowing from taps on the upper floors of high rise buildings. It is already the practice for very high rise buildings to have their own pumps in order to meet this problem. If these pumps were fitted to lower rise buildings in an orderly way (that is, prioritising the highest buildings in a given water supply sector), mains pressure could be lowered progressively.

This is a logical and economic solution to the problem that could be tested as a pilot scheme in one sector if desired.

Thank you for asking Government if this is happening, and if not, why not.

Best wishes
Richard Lawson

(so let it not be said that contry dwellers care not for the feckless Londoners. Not only do we supply them with food, but now we are helping them with their water problem)

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