War on water leaks arrives in Bedford

Mar 14, 2016

Two innovative schemes will take the pressure off pipes in Bedfordshire.

Anglian Water is waging a new war on leaks and burst mains in Bedfordshire with nearly half a million pounds being spent on two schemes that will save more than one million litres of water every single day.

The schemes will drive leakage down further than ever before by managing the underground pipe network differently. Between the two schemes, around 20,000 homes and businesses in Harlington and Bedford town centre will benefit from fewer bursts and leaks.

The water company already has the best leakage record in the industry but it’s committed to waging a £60million war to drive leakage down even further by the end of the decade.

By varying the pressure in its pipe network these innovative schemes will cut the number of bursts by a quarter, reduce other leaks by as much as 60 per cent, and in total save more than one million litres of water every day - the equivalent of 12,500 baths per day.

Andy Smith, Anglian Water’s regional manager for these innovative schemes, said: “Customers regularly say that reducing leaks and bursts is the most important thing to them. We know they are inconvenient and frustrating and that is why we’re investing £60million in our war on leakage, to drive levels down even further and keep us ahead of the rest of the industry. Achieving such ambitious targets requires us to take a new approach to managing our water network and the Bedfordshire schemes are examples of this new approach.”

Harlington scheme

New pressure control valves will be installed at Harlington and Sharpenhoe to allow Anglian Water to make very small changes to the network and prevent pressure building up in the pipes when fewer people are using water. There won’t be a noticeable change to the pressure coming from customers’ taps, but the process will protect the water mains and reduce the chance of bursts and disruption for customers.

Works starts from 15 February when Anglian Water will install the first pressure control valve on the corner of Goswell End Road and Monmouth Road, Harlington. A second valve will be installed in Sharpenhoe to complete the scheme. Together they will create a pressure managed zone covering the northern half of Harlington village.

To ensure Goswell End Road remains open while the work is being carried out, three way traffic lights will be in place and every effort is being made to keep disruption to an absolute minimum – including scheduling the bulk of the work to take place during half term, reducing the disruption to Harlington Upper School nearby.

Andy Smith continued: “We have always worked hard to identify and respond to leaks and bursts quickly as possible, but that doesn’t prevent them happening in the first place or prevent inconvenience for customers. This scheme will.

“Customers in Harlington won’t notice any change in the water supply coming from their taps, but once the scheme is complete they will notice fewer bursts, leaks and interruptions to their water supply.”

A second, separate scheme in Bedford town centre will start at the end of February and protect around 20,000 homes and businesses. Anglian Water is working closely with the local highways team to plan the scheme to fit in around other roadworks and minimise disruption for road users.

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