Milestone moment for £155m North-east water investment

The first pipes have been laid in a new 57km water pipeline, which will support supplies to more than 200,000 people across the North-east.

Northumbrian Water’s Project Pipeline: County Durham and the Tees Valley is a huge £155m investment in futureproofing the resilience and quality of water supply to customers.

Phase 1 of the project, which will connect Lartington Water Treatment Works in Upper Teesdale with the town of Gainford and across to Shildon, County Durham, is being constructed by Northumbrian Water’s partners, Farrans Construction.

The project will see the replacement of sections of the network that have served the area for more than 100 years, alongside new stretches of pipeline.

Pipelaying started from Whorley reservoir and the teams are working in the directions of Lartington and Shildon.

A second phase is currently being planned, with work scheduled to start in 2025, further connecting the pipeline on to Teesside at Long Newton.

James Dawes, project manager, said: “This is one of the biggest ever investments in customers’ water supplies here in the North-east.

"Following years of planning and preparation, to ensure we can deliver this project in the best way possible, it’s fantastic to see the first pipes in the ground.

“There is still a long way to go, with Phase 1 scheduled to see us working into 2025, and Phase 2 for a further three years after that, but this is a huge milestone.

“We will continue to work with Farrans Construction and our other partners, with local stakeholders, communities and customers, as we progress across the south of County Durham and into Teesside, on the road to putting this new pipeline, that will deliver benefits for 200,000 customers, into service.”

Stephen Coates, project manager at Farrans Construction, added: “We have been on site for the last two months making final preparations ahead of the pipe work being laid so this is an exciting milestone for this project, our client and our team. 

“The route of the pipeline will cross the River Tees and we are constructing a tunnel to carry the pipe 12m below the river bed, close to the villages of Lartington and Cotherstone in Teesdale.

“This is an important project which will provide resilience in the water supply for many years to come.

"We look forward to continuing to support the local community through our social value programme and already we have worked with social enterprises, charities and taken part in the Cotherstone 5km run.”

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