Back in 2017, a report from the UK Water Industry Research revealed that water suppliers around the country would have to make significant increases in infrastructure investment, otherwise the 350,000 of water mains and 625,000km of sewers will start to fail more often.
Without increasing investment, more bursts, interruptions, flooding and pollution would be seen, the report went on, which would have an impact on customer satisfaction and fail to meet increasingly high standards of expected service.
Technical director George Heywood commented on the findings at the time and was quoted by WWT Online as saying: “The project team’s thorough analysis has made use of national asset databases, combined with deterioration, service, cost and optimisation models.
“It shows that if the industry does not increase expenditure then bursts, interruptions, flooding and pollution will happen more regularly, in opposition to the increasing service expectation of customers. Failing to increase expenditure now will result in significantly higher recovery costs in future years adding to the burden on the consumer and network infrastructure.”
And now it seems that water suppliers are starting to take action, with Thames Water embarking on a £7 million project that will see tough plastic lining used on two Victorian era cast iron water mains between Seven Sisters Road and Myddleton Avenue in Hackney.
According to the news source, properties in 2019 were flooded and residents left without water following a burst pipe in Finsbury Park. An investigation of the local water network led the supplier to decide to strengthen the two mains in order to reduce the risk of further incidents.
A die-drawing technique will be used to get the job done, with the plastic lining stretched through the inside of the pipes and then allowed to expand to match the size of the pipes and create a seal.
The project will be completed in two phases, with work on the first main expected to be completed by January. Work will then begin on the second pipe in February, projected to be finished by July next year.
Thames Water’s network programme manager Mike Kodua explained that the work will help avoid “distressing and damaging” bursts, such as those that were seen last year.
“As well as protecting the water supply in the area for future generations, the work will be carried out in a way designed to cause the least disruption on the road. It’s vital we continue investing in our ageing networks to safeguard the supply of clean water in the future,” he went on to say.