Newmarket is at the forefront of a water company’s efforts to save million of gallons of water lost through leaks and burst mains.
Anglian Water has confirmed that more than 6,000 homes in the town along with properties in Fordham, Burwell and Exning have been used to test what could be the water supply network of the future.
The scheme is the first of its kind in the East of England and according to the water company will drive leakage down further than ever before by managing the underground pipe network differently.
The system works by varying the pressure in its network throughout the day with special valves reducing water pressure and flow when demand is at its lowest.
The reduction eases the pressure on the older parts of the water network, some of which dates back to Victorian times.
Emma Staples, a spokeswoman for Anglian Water, said: “Newmarket has been a trail blazer for the region and the trials here and in the surrounding villages will pave the way for more schemes across the region. Everything is done remotely and prevents pressure building up in the pipes at night, when fewer people are using water. There won’t be a change to the pressure in customers’ homes, but this night-time change will protect the water mains and reduce the chance of disruption for customers,” she said.
The success of the Newmarket trial means Anglian Water is now installing three huge new valves in Peterborough as part of a £500,000 scheme to save one million litres of water every day.
Paul Valleley, Anglian Water’s director of water services, said: “We have always worked hard to identify and respond to leaks and bursts quickly as possible.
“That is good up to a point, but it doesn’t prevent them happening in the first place, whereas this new approach will.”