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We're constantly working to improve the supply and quality of your water so you continue to receive clean, fresh water for your morning shower and to enjoy a great cuppa.

Some of the pipes which supply water to almost 43,000 properties in the Carlisle area are over 90 years old. Over time natural mineral deposits have built up inside and although these deposits are not harmful, they can sometimes cause the water to become discoloured.

In February 2016 we started a £14 million investment programme to clean and refurbish over 30km of water pipes to improve the quality of water for customers in the Carlisle area. Our work will take around four years to complete and will be split across nine projects.  The overview map indicates where we'll be working (PDF 372KB opens in a new window).

We'll be using a variety of methods which will include:

  • Inserting new plastic pipe into the existing water main (slip lining)
  • Constructing completely new sections of pipe to replace the existing water main (open cut).
  • Using hi-pressure water jetting or pulling sponge swabs through the main to clean it (air scour/swabbing).   

In early October 2017 we’ll be changing the direction of water flow within several of our large pipes. This will enable us to empty them ready for the next stage of our cleaning and refurbishment work.

Our team will gradually transfer water along different pipes over a four/five week period to reduce the possibility of disturbing mineral deposits. It is possible that you may experience temporary short term discolouration while this takes place. We understand this can look unpleasant. Further advice to help get your tap water running clear is detailed below.



Expected Completion
Project 2 - Wetheral Pastures Completing some pipe connections. Two-way temporary traffic lights near Cumwhinton Water Treatment Works will be in place until January 2018.
Project 2 - Scotby to Wetheral road Laying a new section of pipe underneath the railway bridge. We had hoped to complete this work using two-way temporary traffic lights. Unfortunately due to the position of the pipes, we need to close the road so that we can carry out this work safely.  The closure will start on Monday 27 November for three weeks with a fully signed diversion in place. 
Project 2 - Fields by M6 at Park Road Laying a new section of pipe running from Wetheral Pastures to Montgomery Way. We have a working area in the field next to the M6 at Park Road whilst we lay a brand new section of pipe. We expect to be completed  by January 2018.

How our work may affect you

We're carrying out this important investment to improve the water network in Carlisle, ensuring customers can receive a reliable and high quality water supply for many years to come

Temporary changes to the appearance of your water supply

During our work there is a possibility that you may experience a slight discolouration to your water supply.  We'll do all we can to prevent this from happening, but we need to take each section of pipe out of operation as our work progresses. 

To ensure we keep taps flowing to homes and businesses, the water will be rerouted and flow direction changed within the pipe network.  This can disturb the sediment, and result in some temporary short term discolouration which we understand can look unpleasant and tends to be more noticeable when filling a glass or running a bath.

Discoloured water is unlikely to be harmful  and can often be cleared by allowing the first incoming cold water tap (usually in the kitchen) to run at a trickle until it clears.  This can clear quickly, but could take longer as it is dependent on how much of the mineral deposit has been disturbed.

Alternatively the water may appear 'cloudy' or 'milky' which is often a result of trapped air while we've been working, this generally disappears as the air escapes from the pipes. If a glass is filled and left to stand for a few minutes, you should notice that tiny air bubbles will rise to the surface and the cloudy appearance will disappear.

Traffic management

We'll be carrying out our work in phases which may require temporary traffic management, lane closures and on occasions we may need to temporarily close roads.

Don't worry, if you live or work in the area, we'll write to customers in advance of the work starting to provide further information about how our work may affect you and provide updates. We'll also hold local community drop-in sessions as the project progresses.

Thank you for bearing with us while we carry out our work. If you have any queries about this work please call us on 0345 672 3723 quoting project number AMEY U.80018815. We'll be happy to help.

Our projects in Carlisle

Download our latest booklet detailing works in Carlisle

Download PDF