Many of our pipes are over 70 years of age and are in need of replacing. They are made from iron and are laid in heavy clay soil that eats into the metal, causing corrosion. This corrosion weakens the structure of the pipe resulting in small holes and cracks appearing over time. As the water leaks through these holes and cracks, the pipe becomes even weaker which can lead to a burst water main.
- Old iron pipes means:
- Cast iron pipes that crack when moved
- Burst mains and leaks wasting water
- Worn out corroded water mains
- Water being cut off for emergency work
- Traffic disruption and holes in the road
When a water main bursts we have to repair it as quickly as possible, as the escaping water is a potential threat to public safety and can damage property and the environment.
We are replacing these old iron water mains with new plastic pipes so that we can provide you with a reliable supply of drinking water and reduce the disruption caused to your community, when a water main bursts.
- New plastic pipes means:
- Flexible plastic water mains
- Water friendly pipes
- Trouble free pipes
- A reliable water supply 24/7
- Planned traffic friendly working
Identifying pipes that need renewing
With 14,500 kilometres of pipes supplying over 1.2 million customer properties renewing our network is a non-stop job.
Each year we renew about 1% of our pipes. Renewing at this rate ensures a continuous, secure supply of top quality tap water at the lowest possible price to our customers. Renewing pipes is a costly operation meaning careful prioritising of those pipes that most urgently need replacing. We constantly check the condition of our pipes and use historical data to predict which are most likely to burst. When selecting a renewal scheme we also check that our work won’t cause unnecessary interruptions to customer supplies, flooding or major traffic disruption.
Once we’ve identified the most urgent pipes for renewal, we liaise with the Highways Authorities to agree when we can carry out the work. We appreciate that renewals can cause disruption and inconvenience to our customers, but with careful design and planning we will make sure we renew the right pipes at the right time at a reasonable cost to ensure our infrastructure is fit for 21st century needs.