Water leaks prompt £1.3m pipe upgrade

Severn Trent Water is to spend £1.3 million replacing pipes near Belper after a series of disruptions to the town’s water supply.

The company has already started work on the upgrade, primarily in fields close to Sawmills on the A610 and the A6.

Nigel McGuinness, programme manager at Severn Trent Water, said: “Following a number of burst water pipes, which affected homes in Belper, Ripley, Swanwick, Alfreton and Somercotes last year, we are making plans to prevent Derbyshire residents from being further affected by bursts.

“When complete, the planned work will increase the security of water supply to around 45,000 homes in the area.”

The investment is in addition to the £30 million construction of Ambergate Reservoir in Fritchley.

It has also prompted bosses to consider shutting down the Chadwick Nick reservoir near Crich.

Although Chadwick Nick has served the community since 1903, the recent bursts and improvements to the water pipe network may mean the reservoir could be taken out of active service.

The timescales for work on the reservoir are being finalised, but – if the company is able to begin in July this year – work as a whole could be completed early in 2014.

Mr McGuinness continued: “We recognise that the local community – in particular members of Amber Valley Borough Council and Crich Parish Council – have been understanding while we have worked on plans for the Ambergate reservoir.

“Where possible, we will do all we can to use local businesses to help with our improvements. We’ll also do our best to work alongside residents, with an aim to keep disruption to the minimum.

“We’re very grateful for the local community’s ongoing patience and we’re also setting up traffic management plans so that we can transport materials to our site, keeping the movements of work vehicles to the minimum.”

Chairman of Crich parish council Margaret Lane said: “To date, we’re pleased that the company is making positive efforts to keep us informed.”