United Utilities has promised to invest £290million to help reduce water leakage over the next five years.

The water company has pledged to cut the amount pipework leaks by 15 percent while at the same time reducing customer bills by 10 percent by recruiting 20 new apprentices specifically dedicated to tackling leakage.

Leakage manager at United Utilities, Hannah Wardle said: “Our customers tell us that fixing leaks is one of the most important things they expect of their water company, and it is hugely important to us too.

“That’s why we are investing in the latest technology plus a new generation of leakage detection professionals to make sure we can rise to the challenge and do even better.

“We’re installing 100,000 loggers directly onto our water pipe network – that’s the equivalent of one logger every quarter of a mile.

"These will listen for the sound of water escaping and alert our engineers so that we can fix the leaks quickly.

“We’re going to be recruiting a further 45 new leakage detection engineers and, for the first time this year, that includes 20 new apprentices specifically dedicated to tackling leakage.”

Leakage reduction has featured strongly amongst the new ideas trialled in the company’s innovation lab, including the UK’s first water sniffer dogs plus an AI software tool that helps engineers to analyse vast amounts of data to spot leaks more quickly.

The leakage reduction plan forms part of United Utilities’ five-year £5.5 billion investment in the North West’s water and wastewater networks.

Between 2020 and 2025 the water company will continue to improve drinking water quality and resilience, reduce pollution and benefit the environment.