The importance of providing a resilient service is embedded into everything we do and we have a comprehensive set of emergency plans. Anglian Water is also certified to ISO 22301(Business Continuity Management). This international standard is an extra assurance for customers and others that we have the plans and systems in place to keep our business running.
We recently bought two new Customer Support Units and these were deployed more than 20 times in 2016/17 to support everyday events and education as well as for incident management.
We have trained key teams in the deployment of new flood barriers to give added protection to our sites and to assist with a wider, multi-agency response to an emergency. We collaborate with Local Resilience Forums and with the Multi Agency Support Group for the east of England.
We remain committed to reducing leakage as part of our drive to improve the region's resilience to drought and climate change. We have set ourselves the ambitious target of bringing down leakage by 10.4 per cent, or 20 Ml/d, to 172 Ml/d between 2015 and 2020. This year the total was 185 Ml/d, a very significant amount below our three-year rolling target of 192 Ml/d.
A warm dry spell in the late summer and early autumn of 2016 dried the soil to an extent not seen since the drought of 2011/12. This caused increased soil movement, leading to a rise in burst pipes. This was followed by a frosty winter and sub-zero temperatures, again leading to a spike in bursts. During this period we saw the highest number of bursts in one week since the severe winter of 2010/11. The recovery plan we put in place ensured leakage levels had dropped by year end to the record levels we have regularly been achieving in recent years.
The increase in bursts caused by this year's bad weather also meant an increased number of interruptions to customers' supplies. We kept our focus on restoration of supplies, ahead of fixing the cause of the interruption. This held us in good stead and we ended the year ahead of our ODI targets. This approach complements the focus on proactive work to prevent failures occurring in the first place. We now have 18 dedicated Restoration Technicians focused on delivering this strategy, based at three locations around the region. We have also increased our clean water tanker fleet from nine to 17 tankers.
We keep a register of properties where customers may have persistently low water pressure. There is a programme of work to remove properties from the register, bringing the number down from 505 to 257 between 2015 and 2020.
Launched in 2010, our Keep it Clear programme aims to change the way people dispose of fats, oils, grease and unflushable items such as wipes and sanitary waste, to reduce sewer blockages and protect customers and the environment from the sewer flooding and pollution they can cause.
At a national level, we have been working with retailers to change the labelling on products that are likely to be flushed down toilets. As a result, many leading retailers have now agreed to place prominent, front-of-pack 'do not flush' logos and messages on the packaging of their own-brand products. Sainsbury's alone is labelling 350 lines, including wipes, kitchen rolls and cotton buds. The changes should be in place by the end of March 2018.
We are the first water company to trial thermal imaging drones to detect leaking water pipes. The technique could help reduce the cost and time taken to find leaks and pinpoint their location more precisely by using sensors and a camera to spot changes in soil temperature which could be caused by water escaping from the pipe.
The drones cover large distances in a short space of time, with anything picked up by the survey investigated further by a leakage technician on site. Repairs can then be carried out quicker and more precisely, meaning less digging, less money, less water lost and less disruption to customers.