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Thames Water starts £20 million project to protect East London water supply

Friday 1st March 2024 13:00

Thames Water engineer works to replace mains pipe

Thames Water is working to upgrade original Victorian water pipes, bringing them up to date for the 21st century

  • Thames Water is investing £20 million upgrading over 1,300 meters of ageing water mains pipes in East London  
  • The work will take place on Mile End Road and Burdett Road in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets  
  • The investment will reduce leaks and protect future water supply for thousands of Londoners  

On Monday 4 March, work begins outside Mile End tube station, where the UK’s largest water company is working to upgrade original Victorian water pipes, bringing them up to date for the 21st century.   

The £20 million project will involve a 12-week lane closure on Mile End Road, where engineers will rehabilitate and replace 962 meters of ageing pipe. Thames Water is also replacing 391 meters of mains pipe on nearby Burdett Road. The company will carry out the upgrades in phases from March 2024 until 2026.  

Martin Padley, London Water Director, Thames Water, said: “It’s critical that we continue to upgrade our leakiest water pipes across the capital and our multi-million-pound upgrade at Mile End Road will help us do just that.  

“With London’s population forecast to grow to 12million by 2050 and the UK set to experience more extreme heat events, we need to act now to protect this precious resource and keep the taps running for Londoners.”  

Over 95% of leaks are hidden underground, which is why the company also continues to invest in new technology to detect leaks before they are visible, including using AI to identify the size and scale of leaks.  

Thames Water is also rolling out a further 33,000 smart meters across London, with the near-real time readings helping to locate leaks on customers properties.  

Customers can find out more about the project, road diversions and local bus routes on the Thames Water website.