Changing water infrastructure

‘By 2050 the UK water deficit is anticipated to be 4017 mega litres per day.’  

Since this announcement in January 2022, major water companies have been developing plans to upgrade the UKs water supply and reduce current usage from 150 litres per person per day to 110.  

Smart meters are seen as a significant part of the solution to reducing domestic water usage.  Thames Water have recorded post installation savings of 12-17%[1].  Following multiple trials, all water companies are now working on plans for Advanced metering infrastructure, where all new connections or meters use the latest generation of smart meters.


New meter location policy
The issues raised in the early trials has led much of the UK water industry to recognise that the most effective methods of installing the advanced metering infrastructure is to locate the meter above ground.  

The use of the Groundbreaker water management system co-locates the water meter on the exterior wall of the dwelling, alongside gas and electric meters.  It has the advantage of providing a better environment for smart technology over traditional underground boundary boxes and the additional benefits of readability for the consumer as well as extended signal transmission and easy meter exchange.


Designing out leak paths
The unique location of the Groundbreaker water management system future proofs the network and minimises the risk of developing future leaks.  The position of the meter allows for an unjointed water supply, hence maintaining the integrity of the supply.  The use of an uninterrupted supply has been recognised as best practice by Water UK and the Home Builders Federation[2].

Steve Leigh, Managing Director of Groundbreaker commented, “Portsmouth Water have demanded surface mounted meter housings as the standard required for all new properties for over 15 years. Working with them we have established the effectiveness and reliability of Groundbreaker.”  He continued, “With the need to maximise the effectiveness of smart metering programmes, I can’t see that there is a viable alternative – putting smart technology in a hole in the ground just does not work.”  

Water efficient homes
United Utilities have recognised that water efficient homes are the key reduce consumption further.  In all new properties, developers will be encouraged to design in water conservation measures, including the installation of a flow regulator.  These modulate the flow entering customer premises, so limiting the amount used by the customer.  Without a degradation of service or any behavioural change, there is a ‘natural’ reduction in consumption.  As these products are fitted to the main water supply, and not each individual outlet they remove any risk of consumer interference and ensure that minimum standards of water supply are maintained as specified within the Water Industry Act and Water Fittings Regulations.  


Groundbreaker supply two products.  In properties with a meter Groundbreaker’s NRv2 LoFlo can be installed between the water meter and manifold in any water meter enclosure.  For unmetered properties, the LoFlo InLine is fitted on the main water supply pipe, normally just after the main
stop tap.  

In either unit, several flow modulation ranges are available which enable the perfect balance between usage reduction and service provision.  As an added benefit, the Groundbreaker’s LoFlo Check Valve systems have the unique property of providing whole site protection against contamination by back flow (up to fluid category 2) as standard.  Groundbreaker products are compliant with all Regulations and defined criteria and are used extensively across the whole of the UK water supply network – whether that be North of Scotland or the Channel Islands.  

For further details please contact Groundbreaker Systems at

Images © Groundbreaker