£900k to be spent on fixing Bedfordshire water pipes

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Anglian Water is returning to Bedford this week to carry out further work to replace old lead water pipes.

The work is expected to take approximately eight months and will take place in London Road, Elstow Road, Kempston Road, Bedford Road, Ampthill Road and Bedford town centre.

This new scheme follows work completed between 2012 and 2015 where the company replaced over 3,500 old lead pipes in the town.

The pipes being replaced are known as the ‘communication’ pipes, which connect the water main up to the customer’s service pipe on their property boundary. The old lead pipes are being replaced with new plastic ones.

The work is being completed at a cost of nearly £900,000, and will target 45 streets.

Bedford is one of the places benefiting from the replacement work because of the town’s high number of older properties, which are served by lead pipes.

Kate Willis, senior scientist for Anglian Water, said: “Where lead is found in tap water, it usually comes from old lead pipe work connecting the property to the water main or in the internal plumbing.

“In Bedford we are replacing large amounts of that old pipework as part of our continual programme of investment in improving water quality.

“This work will involve road closures in some places, mainly in the roads off Ampthill Road and in the town centre. With work on this scale there will inevitably be some disruption, which is why we’re working closely with Bedford Borough Council to keep this to a minimum.”

The work only covers those pipes, which are owned by Anglian Water and connect the water main to people’s private service pipes.

The service pipes, which run from the building to its boundary with the street, are the responsibility of the property owner.

Kate added: “It is likely that if our communications pipe is lead then your service pipes will be too.

“The surest way to prevent lead getting into your drinking water is to replace all lead pipework; however you can take steps to reduce the amount of lead levels at your tap.”

People can get more information by visiting: www.anglianwater.co.uk/household/water-quality/bedford-lead-programme.aspx