Water Mains Renewal Schemes
The Company renews approximately 1% of its water mains network each year in order to reduce the risk of bursts and leakage which can often result in interruptions of supplies and unexpected disruption to customers. This essential work ensures high standards of water quality are maintained for many years to come and we believe the long term benefits outweigh the short term inconvenience that customers may experience. The investment is significant, about £5.0m per year.
Portsmouth Water’s Area of Supply in the South East of England is defined by the Environment Agency as an area of “serious water stress” which means water resources in the region must be managed in a sustainable manner. Part of our holistic approach includes minimising leakage from the water mains network which we achieve by targeting specific areas and specific mains for renewal.
We record the locations where mains have burst, and we monitor our network to identify areas of leakage. This information, together with soil corrosivity data, pipe material and the period of manufacture, is used to help us decide when and where to replace our pipework.
We periodically undertake deterioration modelling of the water mains network applying risk based selection criteria to identify which mains, when replaced, will provide the greatest benefit to customers and the environment.
Engineering criteria are used to identify the most appropriate and cost beneficial materials and techniques. The mains renewals techniques and procedures are always chosen to minimise disruption to our customers and other road users. We constantly strive to identify new and innovative renewal methods as we are aware excavation works in the public highway are highly disruptive to road users.
We plan our renewals programme up to five years in advance of the actual renewals work and liaise as closely as practicable with the Highways Authorities who have a responsibility to co-ordinate all works within the highway. We believe this advanced planning enables the Highways Authorities to minimise the seemingly endless excavation of trenches in the same road by different utilities. We engage with key stakeholders whilst preparing the five years renewals programme and always endeavour to minimise the impact of our work upon customers and road users.
Once we have identified water mains for renewal we embark upon a carefully planned communications strategy which includes direct customer contact and liaison with key stakeholders such as schools, businesses, residents associations etc.
We always encourage customers to contact us regarding our proposals and therefore publish our defined annual programme together with our intended 5 year renewal strategy. Click below for our 5 year plan and for works in progress.
This essential mains renewals work ensures high standards of water quality are maintained for many years to come and we hope that you will agree that the long term benefits outweigh the short term inconvenience that customers may experience.
In the coming few years we will be replacing about 23 km of mains per year, and in any given week we will be working at around 30 different locations in the Portsmouth Water area of supply.