Water and the environment

The environmental impact of water loss is greater than you might imagine.

It seems obviously wasteful to treat water and then let it leak out of the distribution pipes.  But there’s more to it than that.

The UK water sector uses 3% of all the energy used in the UK.  Most of the energy is used by pumps.  In other parts of the world, desalination is used to turn sea water into drinkable water.  That is a hugely energy intensive process which also increases the salinity of the sea.

Where water isn’t drawn from the sea, it’s drawn from rivers and aquifers and boreholes.  In some cases these sources are irreplaceable, in others, taking from them has a knock-on impact on the natural environment.

Lots of vehicles are used to transport engineers and crews to find and resolve leaks and bursts.

Numerous chemicals are used to treat water to make it potable.  Those include:

  • Disinfectants – chlorine, chlorine dioxide and ozone;
  • Coagulants/flocclants, which gather up the impurities/bits into something more manageable – aluminium sulfate, polyaluminium chloride and ferric sulfate;
  • pH balancing – sodium hydroxide; and
  • Additives – fluoride.

Reducing water loss is therefore a significant contribution to addressing environmental harm.  In addition to which, i2O uses re-usable packaging for transporting components, recyclable containers for shipping to clients, and is aiming also to remove plastic bags by the end of this year.