Tapping into quality


Thousands of properties in Northumberland are to benefit from the next phase of a major water scheme.

Northumbrian Water is to clean 1.3 kilometres of trunk water mains, large diameter pipes which transfer water around the region, between Western Way and Birney Hill reservoir, Ponteland.

The work, which will begin on Monday, July 20 2009 and take up to six weeks, will improve tap water quality to 2875 properties in Ponteland and Darras Hall.

This is part of the water company’s four-year, largest ever mains cleaning programme and will involve cleaning or upgrading 156 kilometres of pipe.

The £30 million scheme, which began in 2007, will reduce the likelihood of half a million customers in South East Northumberland, North Tyneside and north of Newcastle receiving discoloured water caused by harmless sediment that builds up in pipes over time.

Richard Johnston, Northumbrian Water’s project manager, said:  “It took us a year to complete work to ensure minimum disruption to customers’ water supply while the cleaning work is done.  This involved installing numerous new valves and small sections of pipe and a 36-inch, 16.5 kilometre water main between Horsley water treatment works, near Wylam, and Gosforth, Newcastle.

“So far 15.5 kilometres of pipe has been cleaned in various locations.  The work in Ponteland and Darras Hall will be carried out mostly in fields, although it will be necessary to have some temporary traffic management in place. Residents should be reassured we will do all we can to keep inconvenience to a minimum.”

Temporary traffic lights will be in place at the junction of Stamfordham Road and Western Way, Ponteland, from Monday, July 27 2009 for up to three days during off-peak periods only and two-way traffic lights will be place, at all times, near 246 Western Way, Ponteland, from Thursday, July 30 2009 for up to four weeks.

While the work in Darras Hall and Ponteland is carried out Northumbrian Water will move water around the network to maintain supplies.  This may result in discoloured water which is not harmful and can be cleared by running the first mains-fed tap.  Customers on a water meter, who receive discoloured water, can contact the water company to arrange an allowance on their bill.

Residents should call the Northumbrian Water Customer Centre on 0845 717 1100 if they have any queries and are urged to be vigilant about letting anyone into their home.  Employees from Northumbrian Water always carry an identity card and customers can check callers are genuine by calling the water company.

For further information contact Cara Hall on 0191 301 6720.

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