The Company owns and operates a range of assets in order to abstract, treat and distribute water to its customers. The standard of water treatment has increased over the years requiring more sophisticated technology and plant to meet these increasing standards. The relatively long life of our assets requires a well planned and managed programme of maintenance to sustain stable levels of service to our customers.
The Company has embarked upon a five year programme of maintaining critical assets. Capital expenditure in the year to 2011 was £9.6m and included £5.0m on mains renewals. Feedback on our customers priorities included the need to provide safe and secure supplies with effective leakage control. In the last five years we worked to achieve these aims and now embark upon the next five years. In the past year we have with the help of our staff improved the condition of many assets securing safe supplies whilst minimising the impact on the environment.
The key elements of our current maintenance programme are set out on the following pages;
Water Mains Renewal Schemes
Our underground pipe network is around 3,270km long, during the past ten years we have worked hard to reduce the impact of bursts upon our customers by targeting mains for renewal. Despite the extremely cold winter the level of bursts has been relatively low demonstrating the effectiveness of a long term mains renewal strategy. During the year the Company continued to target mains for renewals and replaced 17.9km of mains and associated service pipes. The long term benefit of mains renewals is sometimes less obvious to our customers who on occasions suffer the short term inconvenience of our construction activities. In response to this the Company increased the length of mains replaced by “no-dig” technology in 2010/11 to approximately 4km. The process minimises the amount of excavation and thereby disruption to customers and road users.
We renew around 23km of our pipe network each year. Click here for details about the mains renewal process and also an update on where work is currently in progress.
Click here for a list of Works In Progress
Click here for a list of Forthcoming Works
Click here for a list of Proposed Works
Serving New Developments
We have a statutory duty to connect new households to our water mains network. At the request of developers we lay new water mains to new housing and commercial developments. Click here for more details.
Water Treatment Works and Pumping Station Improvements
During the past year the Company continued a programme of maintaining critical assets replacing operational elements of plant in order to maintain stable service to our customers. Interruptions to customers supplies from plant outages are one of the lowest in the industry and reflects our ongoing commitment to asset maintenance. Over the next five years we will be spending approximately £10.5 million on maintaining water treatment works and pumping stations.
During the year we commenced work on a scheme at our River Itchen Water Treatment Works to control the growth of algae in raw water abstracted from the river and stored prior to treatment and subsequent delivery to our customers. The scheme consists of covering the bankside raw water storage reservoir and elements of the treatment works with a roof preventing sunlight from reaching the water and thereby preventing the growth of algae. The scheme will ensure the water treatment works maintains stable water quality complying with the water quality regulations. Click here for more details.
Resilience of critical utility assets to acts of terrorism has been recognised by the Government Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) who issued advice notes to the water industry providing guidance upon securing assets that could affect service to customers. During the year the Company completed schemes enhancing security of reservoirs and water abstraction sites.
Major flooding events in the summer of 2007, in Gloucester, Yorkshire and other parts of the UK resulted in Sir Michael Pitt under Government direction undertaking a major investigation into the resilience of the Country’s infrastructure to flooding. The recommendation to the water industry has formed the basis of our assessment of the resilience of the Company’s infrastructure to floods. Feedback from our customers supports the need to maintain constant supplies. During the year we have embarked upon a scheme to improve flooding resilience at four water treatment works and the work is now nearing completion.