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News - 9 April 2006

City’s water pipes to be replaced

Every single pipe in the square mile that makes up Brighton’s city centre is to be replaced over the next three to four years. Southern Water is about to embark on a major programme of renewals to put an end to the water leakage that is exacerbating the effects of the drought in the city.

Southern Water is working closely with the City Council and has promised to consult with all of the other utility suppliers in the city to ensure that where possible other maintenance is done while the roads are being dug up.

Business groups have also been consulted and have given preferred times for upheaval and times that must be avoided at all costs. For example the shopping areas of the city should not be worked on during peak trading periods like Christmas, Easter and high summer. Also if water needs to be cut off for an extended period this will be done on a non-trading day or at low trading times of day. Southern Water is working out a schedule and will consult with businesses in more detail when it is completed.

And there is some good news in all of this. The pipes that are being replaced are 150 years old. The Victorian plumbing system is complex and outmoded. The proposed work will offer an opportunity to simplify and update the network of pipes and improve the efficiency and delivery of water to homes and businesses. In addition the number and quality of fire hydrants will be increased in key streets and people will be offered free smoke alarms and fire safety checks. Completion of this work also means that leaks will become a rarity and the likelihood of digging the roads up again in the near future will be very much reduced.

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