Severn Trent flushes water pipes in the West Midlands

Monday 27th February 2017

Providing water to eight million people across the Midlands and mid-Wales means that not only does Severn Trent has thousands of miles of pipes to look after, it also has to keep them in tip top condition.

In order to do that, the company is cleaning half a mile of buried water pipes across Birmingham and Solihull, which will help improve the service it offers to nearly 12,000 customers.

Mell Priestly from Severn Trent explains what's happening and why: “The water we send to customers is top quality but that doesn’t mean that we take it for granted which is why we carry out a regular flushing of our water pipes to remove the naturally occurring sediment that can settle at the bottom of our network.

“This sediment is something that’s unavoidable and that our customers won’t normally notice but, when the fire service uses our hydrants or water leaks due to burst pipes, it can cause the sediment to be lifted into the supply – making the water discoloured. By flushing the pipes we’ll help remove the build-up and reduce the chance of discolouration for our customers."

Last year, hundreds of miles of pipes were cleaned by Severn Trent across its whole region, helping maintain a top quality water supply.

Mell added: "It’s very unlikely that our customers will ever have discoloured water but just in case they do we have some very simple advice – simply run the first mains fed tap, which is usually your kitchen tap, at a gentle rate for 20 minutes and the water should clear.  You may need to do this a few times to completely it but it really is nothing to worry about.”