Work made crystal clear

Posted: Tuesday 27th February 2007

The largest ever water mains cleaning programme in the North East is to begin next week.

Northumbrian Water is to clean the inside of 156 km of trunk water mains between Warkworth in Northumberland and the north of Newcastle.

The £25 million scheme, which will take up to four years to complete, will further improve tap water quality to customers living in South East Northumberland, North Tyneside and the north of Newcastle.

Trunk water mains are large diameter pipes which transfer water around the network – smaller diameter water pipes, known as distribution mains, then supply tap water to customers’ properties. Over a long period of time a layer of sediment, which is not harmful to health, can build up on the inside of trunk water mains and can result in discoloured water. Some of the massive trunk mains which will be cleaned have a diameter of up to one metre.

The first phase of preparation work, which will begin on Monday, February 26 2007 and take up to seven months to complete, will be carried out on the trunk water mains which supply 60,000 properties in Amble, Morwick, Acklington, Newbiggin-by-the-Sea, Morpeth, Ashington, Blyth, Cramlington and surrounding areas.

Graham Neave, Northumbrian Water’s operations director, said: “We are committed to constantly improving services to our customers. This work is in addition to upgrading 1600 km of distribution mains throughout our supply area between 2005 and 2010.

“Although discoloured water is not harmful to health we appreciate that it is not pleasant and this work will significantly reduce the risk of discoloured water to more than half a million customers.

“It will be necessary to carry out the work in two stages to keep in the impact on customers’ water supply to a minimum. The first stage is the preparation work which will involve installing facilities onto the water network to enable the second stage, the cleaning work, to be carried out”.

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