New water pipe helps protect supplies for thousands of homes in Derby

A new water pipe has been installed by Severn Trent in Derby to help improve water supplies to thousands of homes in the area.

The water company, which serves eight million people across the Midlands and mid-Wales, has taken steps to protect supplies after several bursts in the Mickleover area of the city in recent years.

Engineers went about identifying the cause and found that the 12 inch water trunk main was leaking very close to the A38. However, rather than digging up the dual carriageway and causing a major headache for commuters, the company found an innovative way to solve the problem.

Bob Taylor, from Severn Trent, explains: “We knew where the problem was but we really didn’t want to have to close the A38 to complete the repairs that were needed. We know how difficult that would have been for local people and anyone commuting into and out of Derby.

“After problem solving with a number of colleagues and our contractor, Morrison Utilities Services, we found we could use a drilling rig to put a new pipe under the road to bypass the leaking section.


“A directional drill was used to put a new 14 inch diameter plastic pipe under the full width of the dual carriageway. This was then used to bypass the leaking section of the original pipe.

“I’m delighted to say we were able to complete the work safely and with absolutely no effect to either traffic or water supplies to our customers – I’m pretty sure no-one realised what was going on.”

Severn Trent customers will now benefit from a reliable new pipe in Mickleover which will guard against any interruptions of supply.

Bob continues: “This was a really innovative solution to improve water supplies in the area and it’s great that we were able to complete the work with such little impact on the local community.

“This kind of drilling isn’t possible in all areas but it’s certainly an option we will consider again for other projects in the future.”

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