10 May 2023


Anglian Water is due to begin work this month on a £8.5 million upgrade to the water network in Meppershall, near Shefford. The project will secure resilient water supplies for people in Bedfordshire, keeping taps running and toilets flushing for years to come. 
The scheme is expected to be completed in by the end of this year and will see almost 9km of new water pipes installed between Flitton and Meppershall. This investment forms part of Anglian Water’s Water Resources Management Plan, which details its plans to maintain water supplies across the East of England for decades to come. 
The pipeline in Meppershall is just one part of a new series of interconnecting pipes that will allow the company to move water more freely around its region to keep up with increasing demand on water resources. The multi-million pound project is one of Europe’s largest environmental projects, and the largest drinking water project the UK has seen for a generation. Hundreds of kilometres of underground, interconnecting pipelines, stretching from North Lincolnshire to Essex and Suffolk, will move water from wetter to drier areas. Once complete, the network will move 265 million litres of water a day. 
Becky Housden, Customer Experience Coordinator for the project, said: “We know that if we don’t act now, we won’t have enough water to go round for future generations. That’s why we’re already investing more than half a billion pounds into laying hundreds of kilometres of new, interconnecting pipes, that will bring water from the wettest areas in the north of our region to the driest areas in the south and east by 2025. 
“The project is one of the largest infrastructure projects in the UK and will help secure water supplies for future generations. Once complete, the new network will be longer than any UK motorway. The pipeline in Meppershall is an important part of this project, helping secure water supplies for residents for years to come.” 
“It is the continued investment in resilience schemes like this over the past 30 years, as well as driving down leakage to world leading low levels, and managing customer demand that means we still put the same amount of water into supply today as we did three decades ago, despite serving around a third more people.” 
The water company operates in the driest and flattest region of the UK, making it particularly vulnerable to extreme weather – including drought – as a result of climate change. Last summer was the East of England’s driest since 1976. The combined effects of climate change and high population growth in the region means that, without action, the East of England could run out of water as soon as 2030. 
Without taking action now, the region would face a water deficit of 30 million litres a day by 2025 due to the combined impact of a rapidly growing population, more extreme weather – like last year’s drought which is ongoing in parts of the Anglian region – as a result of climate change and being located in the driest part of the UK. 
In March 2023, Anglian Water completed a similar scheme at Ampthill, installing a new 2km water pipe between Brickhill Copse pumping station and Bow Brickhill reservoir.  
Engineers have planned the work at Meppershall to minimise disruption for customers and impact on the local environment. Most of the new pipeline will be installed within fields, using a directional drilling technique which minimises the need for digging, reducing the project’s carbon footprint and disruption to road users. 
During the work, some traffic management will be needed to keep engineers, residents and road users safe. Details are available below: 

Location Start Date End Date
Meppershall Road  22 May  7 June
Flitton Hill  1 June  8 June
Campton Road  6 June 12 June
Ampthill Road  12 June 16 June
Clophill Road  13 June 19 June