An Anglian Water scheme costing £3.4 million to replace and improve a large stretch of water main in the Belstead area of Ipswich is due to begin in April this year. 

The scheme is one of the largest and most involving investment projects the water company will undertake in Suffolk in 2017, with around 16km of water pipe to be replaced. The scheme is due to be completed by the end of the summer 2018.

The team will use innovative techniques – pipe bursting and slip lining – where possible to minimise the disruption for local residents. Both techniques involve pulling the new pipe through the existing pipe minimising the excavation work needed to the road surface.

Mark Pryke, Anglian Water’s Network Manager for Suffolk, said: “The existing pipework is reaching the end of its life and needs to be replaced.
Inevitably, with a project work of this scale there may be some disruption to residents and road users, and we apologise for this.

“In some places we may need to dig trenches, but we can also use slip-lining and boring techniques that go underground like a mole, meaning the road surface doesn’t need to be disrupted, a bit like performing keyhole surgery to the road surface. We’ll be using these advanced techniques wherever the ground conditions allow, keeping disruption to a minimum for customers.”

The water main scheme will start next month. While the work takes place there will be some traffic lights, lane closures and traffic diversions in place. The initial phase of the works will see traffic lights in place along Belstead Road, Luther Road, Stoke Park Drive and Fountains Road.

Mark added: “Work will move around the Belstead area over the next year. Some lane and road closures may be needed for safety reasons but this will not be done without plenty of notice and access will be maintained for residents and emergency vehicles. We hope that people understand how important this work is and that the benefits of this work will outweigh any temporary inconvenience.”

Anglian Water has pledged to keep residents updated on the scheme’s progress with regular newsletters, and videos and images on social media.