Water firm United Utilities has started its search for firms to deliver more than £800M of maintenance work across the North West.
The £824M framework is split into three streams, covering repairs, renewals and other specialist services for water and wastewater. From an initial six-year contract, winning bidders have the option to extend by up to four years.
The announcement came as United Utilities revealed it has invested more than £817M over the last year into the pipes, reservoirs and treatment works across its region, citing infrastructure leakages as one of its main concerns.
Stream One covers water maintenance over two £120M lots across the north and south of the region, including Manchester, Liverpool and Cumbria. Work includes resolution, repair or renewal of linear assets and ancillary fittings on the water network.
Stream Two is for wastewater work across the north (£135M) and south (£140M) of the region, and covers the same responsibilities for the wastewater network.
Stream Three has five lots for non-core work, such as investigations and other specialist services for the water and wastewater networks. Lots range from £24M to £90M.
On Wednesday (23 May) the Environment Agency urged water firms to spend more to stop infrastructure leakage after it was revealed roughly 3bn.l of water is lost in England each day.
United Utilities chief executive Steve Mogford said the firm has met its leakage targets every year since 2008. Ofwat has set water companies strict targets to reduce leakage by 15% in the next funding period (2020-2025).
Mogford added: “While our industry faces many challenges, we intend to rise to all of them, building on the trust our customers place on us to provide an outstanding service, invest wisely to deliver additional benefits and offer exceptional value for money.
“This philosophy is central to our strategy and will help deliver long term value for customers, the environment and for shareholders.”
United Utilities claims to be the first water company to train a sniffer dog to detect water leaking underground. The springer spaniel, named Snipe, can help pinpoint leakages in pipes which would be near-impossible to detect from above ground.
Firms interested in the £824M maintenance work should contact Jaime.Sheldon@uuplc.co.uk by 21 June.