WATER company United Utilities is letting more than 175 Olympic-sized swimming pools’ worth of water go down the plug hole every single day, according to GMB. 

The union for the water industry claims United Utilities waste more than 430 million litres every day amid north west residents facing a hosepipe ban.

United Utilities, who provide water for homes and businesses in the region, said a temporary ban would affect seven million people in the region from August 5.

READ: Town set for hosepipe ban

READ: Can Blue Badge holders still use a hosepipe? Your questions to United Utilities answered

But the latest leakage figures for United Utilities show 439,200,000 litres of treated water are wasted each day.

The GMB says this represents 133 litres of water per day per household - the equivalent of a full bath tub and washing machine cycle thrown away in every home.

In total, water companies across England and Wales lost 3 billion litres of treated water every single day in 2017.

An investigation by GMB last month also revealed the boss of United Utilities private water company trousered £12 million in salary, bonuses, pensions and other benefits over the past five years.

The CEO of the north west water company took home £2,310,000 in 2017 alone – 12 times more than the Prime Minister. 

At the same time a study from the National Audit Office showed that people's water bills have increased by 40% above inflation since the water industry was privatised by Margaret Thatcher's government in 1989.

Stuart Fegan, GMB National Officer, said: “It’s a disgrace that customers face a £1,000 fine as private water fat cats trouser millions, all the while failing to invest to tackle leakages.

“While we have had hot weather, the UK uses less than 2% of the water that falls from the sky each year and which flows into the sea.

“Whatever the weather, we need to take back the tap and ensure our water services are run in the interests of the public once more and not just the few at the top."

How does United Utilities leakage figures compare?

Company leakage per day (000,000s) 2016-17

Anglian - 180.0

Northumbrian - 133.8

Severn Trent - 431.6

South West - 84.4

Southern - 88.1

Thames - 677.2

United Utilities - 439.2

Wessex - 68.4

Yorkshire - 295.2

What does United Utilities say?

A United Utilities spokesman said reducing leaks was a 'top priority'.

He added: "We have cut leakage by half since the 1990s and are working hard to do even more.

"For instance, we now use satellites to help to detect leaks, and we have just recruited a team of sniffer dogs trained to pinpoint leaks in rural areas where the water does not always show on the surface.

“The company takes the issue of losses of water from its distribution network very seriously and every year invests millions of pounds to minimise the amount of water lost.  

"Currently, there are over 160 full-time inspectors detecting leaks across the region. 

"Since the Beast from the East severe weather event in February and response to the ongoing drought, we have increased both our leakage detection and repair activities by around 50%."