Victorian main's reign comes to an end - 23/11/2016

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Sutton and East Surrey Water -

Work to replace a water main that was laid during Queen Victoria’s reign gets underway in Chipstead, Surrey, from next month.

Sutton and East Surrey Water is replacing 1.8km of water main - laid in 1896 - with a new, larger, tougher plastic pipe that is less prone to bursts and leaks.

The £325,000 project will take place in Castle Road and Outwood Lane and protect customers’ drinking water supplies for generations to come.

Work will start during the week commencing 5th December 2016 and, apart from breaking over the Christmas and New Year period, will continue until May 2017 which is when the overall project is due for completion.

Chris Burnup, Civil Engineer at Sutton and East Surrey Water, said: “Victorian engineers certainly built things to last and this water main is no exception, transporting thousands of litres of top quality water every day.

“However, our investigations indicate it is coming to the end of its working life and so it’s time to act now.

“Laying a new, larger water main will also allow us to abandon another section of pipe in the same area – not quite as old, but laid in 1958 – that crosses farmers’ fields and what is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). This section of pipe suffered a major burst in February 2013 and proved very difficult to repair, not least because of the difficulty in accessing it with replacement parts and machinery.

“This project will make sure both existing and future customers in this part of Surrey continue to receive a reliable supply of top quality drinking water.”

Due to the need to work in the road, some traffic management – including temporary traffic lights and road closures - will be needed to keep residents, motorists and the workforce safe.

Chris added: “These traffic management arrangements are being finalised with Surrey Highways but we will make sure that customers can always access their properties.”

More information on the scheme can be found on the Sutton and East Surrey Water website at


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