Anglian Water has completed half of a £4.5 million scheme to replace and improve a large stretch of water main in the Belstead area of Ipswich.
The scheme to replace 14km of water pipeline, which began in April this year, is one of the largest and most involving investment projects the water company will undertake in Suffolk in between now and the end of the decade. Over seven kilometres of new pipe is now in place and the scheme is on track to be completed in spring 2018.
Mark Pryke, Anglian Water’s Network Manager for Suffolk, said: “Work has been completed on Belstead Road, Kingfisher Avenue, Wren Avenue, Robin Drive, London Road, Scrivener Drive and Sprites Lane. Work on Hawthorn Drive is due to be finished by the end of the month, closely followed by work on Sheldrake Drive.
“The next phase of the project will see us moving into Tern Road, Cambridge Drive and Fitzwilliam Close with work in Maple Close starting after Christmas.
“Everything we do is designed to minimise disruption for our customers, minimise our carbon footprint and impact on the environment. That’s why we’ve had four engineering teams working across the area at the same time which has allowed us to crack on with the scheme and get things back to normal as quickly as possible for local residents and customers.
“We’re using advanced main-laying techniques wherever the ground conditions are good enough. Slip-lining and boring techniques allow us to go underground like a mole, meaning the road surface doesn’t need to be disrupted. In some places we have needed to dig trenches, but 95% of any material we’ve excavated has been reused to backfill the trenches, meaning we’ve been able to cut down on lorry movements in the area and it’s better for the environment too.”
The scheme will replace pipework which has reached the end of its useful life.
Mark added: “Historically, there have been problems in the area with customers noticing discoloration of the water and while we’ve been keeping a close eye on it and taking steps to manage it; this scheme is an important step in finding a permanent solution for our customers. By doing such a thorough job now and laying new sections of pipe we will minimise the chance of discoloration in the future.”
Discoloration in the water is caused by a build up of iron sediment in the pipes, although it is not a risk to human health, Anglian Water has been regularly flushing the pipes to prevent a repeat of the issue.
Mark continues: “We’re really grateful to the local residents and road users for their patience while we complete the scheme. Inevitably, with a project of this scale there may be some disruption users, and we’re sorry about this. However, we hope that people understand how important this work is and that the benefits of this work will outweigh any temporary inconvenience.”
Anglian Water will be keeping residents updated on the scheme’s progress and planned roadworks via regular newsletters, videos and images on social media. Updates can also be found on the scheme by visiting: www.anglianwater.co.uk/yourarea.