Water staff pull out all the stops to keep the water flowing in Warrington

Repairs to a leak on a major water main could have turned the taps dry for thousands of people in Warrington at the weekend if water engineers hadn’t worked flat out to fix the problem and keep the water flowing.

United Utilities had to figure out a way to keep water supplies flowing for 37,000 homes in the town before it could isolate the leak and get on with the repair work.

Engineers spent over a week planning the repairs, which involved building a temporary bypass on the 2-foot diameter pipe.  As well as rerouting supplies around the vast water network, United Utilities also had a fleet of 37 water on wheels tankers on standby in case they were needed.

A special task team worked around the clock to manage the repair work on Dan’s Road, near Fiddlers Ferry Power Station in Widnes. 

Contingency plans were also put in place in case the pipe burst, to ensure disruption to the community was kept to an absolute minimum.

Replacement fittings and pipework were delivered to the site along with machinery to be ready in case the pipe burst. The team then created an “overland” bypass pipe so that the water was diverted during the repair.

United Utilities’ Mike Wood explained: “This incident was out of the ordinary due to the size of the pipe and the number of customers it serves but our teams are constantly working behind the scenes making sure that communities can go about their usual business secure in the knowledge that we’ll be keeping the taps flowing and the toilets flushing.

“Customers in Warrington would have been none the wiser that all this emergency planning was going on.

“Everything worked liked clockwork and we repaired the pipe and kept the taps on so that no customers in Warrington were without water during this repair and the whole incident was successfully completed by Sunday afternoon.”