THAMES WATER is scrapping its piecemeal approach to mains replacement in favour of wholesale area-wide schemes aimed at reducing long term traffic disruption.
The new strategy will also help the company wipe out leaks in areas where they are most common.
Next Monday contractors start replacing 10km of 100 year old 180mm-250mm ductile and cast iron pipes in a 1km 2area in Holborn, central London. The £2.7M scheme should be complete by March of next year.
A Thames Water spokesman said the project is part of a new mains replacement strategy for the water company.
Previously Thames has replaced leaking mains on an ad-hoc basis.
Thames Water programme manager Dave Allen said the Holborn project covered all of the streets in a 2.5km 2area. It will replace old pipes with plastic ones using cut and cover or pipe threading methods.
Allen said, 'The new plastic pipes are more robust, and have a design life of between 50 and 70 years - but the real change is their joints.'
The new pipes' joints will be less likely to leak in future because sections will be welded together rather than connected with mechanical joints which are prone to damage if the ground moves.
'Security of supply, leakage and the efficient use of water' is available on the Ofwat website www. ofwat. gov. uk