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Wrexham Maelor Hospital water bill doubles after major leak

The Wrexham Maelor Hospital saw its water bill more than double after suffering a major leak, it has been revealed.

Wrexham Maelor Hospital was charged approximately £45,000 a month for an unspecified period last year, compared to its normal average bill of £20,000.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCU) said work had been carried out to fix the issue, but during the leak the hospital used around 17,000 litres of water a month.

Officials said the board’s overall water bill went up to around £1.67m in the 2018/19 financial year – an increase of just over eight per cent compared to the previous 12 months.

While they said some of the costs incurred had been recovered, the leak at the Maelor accounted for a large proportion of its expenditure.

In a report set to go before board members next week, they said: “In the east division of the BCU estates property portfolio, we showed a significant increase in cost and water volume.

“This can be attributed to the substantial leak at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

“The average consumption through this water meter in question should have been approximately 8,000 litres a month (approximately £20,000 a month) however during the leak period it was approximately 17,000 litres a month (approximately £45,000 a month).

“We fortunately were able to re-coup some of the losses as a sewerage rebate of £140,000 as a portion of the water consumed by the site did not go to drain, it went to ground – hence it was not processed by the water authority.”

A leak also occurred at Llandudno Hospital last year, which was not on the scale of the one at the Maelor, but was described as “substantial” for the size of the premises.

The report shows that water consumption can currently be monitored remotely at five hospitals in north Wales.

However, the Maelor is not one of those included on the list and the board admitted the leak at the hospital had taken some time to locate.

Officials added: “Each property as far as practicable is visited on a monthly basis and estates staff records the gas, electricity, water and where applicable oil consumptions.

“There are some issues in relation to obtaining meter readings in a timely manner from each property and access is not always possible, however we always strive to achieve this consistent approach.

“Like any water leak that is subsurface, detecting and locating can take some resources and time to find.

“The estates business support unit is exploring the possibilities of a complete energy management software package that will collate supplier meter reading and self read data and provide analysis of consumptions and usage trends.”

The report will be considered by board members at a meeting in Bangor on Thursday 25th July.

By Liam Randall – BBC Local Democracy Reporter (more here on the LDR scheme).



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