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New technology to protect future Hackney water supply

Monday 19th October 2020 13:35

Hackney relining project

Thames Water will use a state-of-the-art new technique to strengthen two of its major water pipes in North London.

The £7 million project, which starts today (Monday, October 19) and is due to take nine months, will see the UK’s biggest water company use tough plastic lining on two cast iron water mains between Seven Sisters Road and Myddleton Avenue in Hackney.

Last year, properties were flooded and residents were left without water after a pipe burst in Finsbury Park. Following an investigation of the water network in the area, Thames Water decided to strengthen the two mains, which were originally laid in the Victorian era, to greatly reduce the risk of further bursts.

The company will be using an innovative die-drawing technique to strengthen the network, which sees the plastic lining stretched through the inside of the existing pipes. It is then allowed to expand to match their size – creating a seal.

The method means fewer trenches will need to be dug to access the pipework and the lining will be completed quicker than traditional methods, significantly reducing disruption above ground.

Mike Kodua, Thames Water’s network programme manager, said: “This is an important piece of work to strengthen the water network in the area, which will help avoid a distressing and damaging burst like we saw 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.”

The project will take place in two phases, with work on the first main due to be completed by January before engineers move on to the second pipe between February and July 2021.

Thames Water is working with Transport for London on the plans, which will see some partial road closures and changes to on-street parking and bus services during the work.

Find out more about the scheme.

Hackney has 68km of trunk mains, most of which are from the Victorian era. The borough has the highest proportion of mains replaced by Thames Water, with 56% having been upgraded since 2000.

The company also carries out more than 1,000 valve checks a year and has installed 9,000 smart meters in Hackney since 2015, with almost 5,000 more due in the next five years.