Putting the damaged water pipe in Birmingham back into service

17 July 2016

Last week, we discovered that a third party working in the Raddlebarn Road area of Birmingham had damaged our water pipe, causing customers in Birmingham to see low pressure and discoloured water.  We're happy to say that the pipe is now fixed and we're working on getting it slowly back into supply today. 

The pipe repair

As you can see - late last week, our teams finally got the new piece of pipe into place and connected up.  It has been cleaned, covered over and water quality checks have been done.

But that's not the end of the story.  We now need to put it back into supply.  But this has to happen very very slowly - if we do it too fast, that much water pressure could cause all sorts of issues across the network.

We've decided to wait until today (Monday) to do this, just in case there are any problems.  This will minimise any disruption to customers and also we'll have more people around to help if needed.  Hopefully by the middle of the week, everything will be back to normal.

Possible discolouration or low pressure while we get the network back to normal

Our priority is always to make sure that our customers have a good quality water supply at all times, and we know that when we put the pipe back into service today, there is a possiblity that some people may experience lower water pressure, or discoloured water. 

We know this will be hugely inconvenient for people, and we're really sorry for this.

Discolouration is due to the water moving through the pipe network much faster than normal or in a different way to normal and disturbing the harmless sediment that can sit at the bottom of the pipe.  Although unappealing, we have no reason to believe there is any risk to your health, however we understand that if you do experience discoloured water, while the supply is discoloured you may choose not to drink the water.

What to do if you do see discoloured water or have low pressure

If you have discoloured water, there are things that you can do to resolve the problem yourself.  Please do try this before you call us.

Run the first mains fed cold water tap in your house, normally at the kitchen sink, at a gentle rate for up to 20 minutes. If the supply is not clear then turn off the tap for 20 minutes and then repeat the process, you may need to do this several times before the supply is clear.

Once again, we'd like to say sorry to anyone who has been affected by this situation and reassure you that we will work round the clock until everything is back to normal.