Two year �7.5 million water pipe replacement project underway

Shoreditch and Stamford Hill to be affected

HOLES in the road are set to return to Hackney as Thames Water replaces Victorian water pipes with modern plastic tubes.

A �7.5 million scheme is under way to replace 12.5 miles of worn-out Victorian cast-iron water mains in Shoreditch and Stamford Hill.

Thames Water will spend two years replacing the pipes with plastic ones less prone to leaks and bursts.

More than 20 per cent of London’s water mains are over 150 years old - the oldest in the UK - and more than 40 per cent are over 100 years old.

Burst water pipes can lead to power cuts as happened in Dalston Lane earlier this year.

In East Barnet residents were left shivering without gas heating or cooking facilities over Christmas last year when water from a burst water main froze inside gas pipes.

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Kathryn Moore, Thames Water’s project manager, said:

“Ideally we wouldn’t have to do this work at all but the fact is that London’s water pipes are old, leaky and need replacing.

“The sturdy new plastic pipes we are putting in are less likely to burst as a result of freezing weather conditions, such as those recently which have led to nearly four times the number of burst and leaking pipes that we would normally expect at this time of year. These pipes will also reduce the risk of damage from soil corrosion and traffic vibrations.

“Our ongoing mains replacement programme is essential for the capital’s water resources, which are under increasing pressure from climate change, population growth and rising demand for water.

“Unfortunately, as with any work on this scale, there will be inevitable disruption, for which we apologise, but we will do everything we can to minimise it.

“We are liaising closely with the London Borough of Hackney as well as other utility companies so that, where possible, we can co-ordinate our works and further minimise disruption.”

At this time of year Thames Water normally expects to get 75 new leaks reported a day across its 20,000-mile network of pipes in London and the Thames Valley, but currently it is getting nearly 300.

In what forecasters are warning could be the coldest December in 100 years, Thames Water is asking customers to report burst and leaking pipes promptly via its free 24-hour leakline, 0800 714 614, or its Twitter profile, @thameswater.