Keeping our pipes in tune with a growing population

The Haweswater Aqueduct is a major feat of engineering. The pipeline, built between 1933 and 1955, has successfully served 2.5 million people in Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester for sixty years.

In 2005 we began preparations to carry out inspections of the 110km pipeline knowing it wouldn’t be an easy task.

While they were looking around our engineers identified areas of concern that posed a potential future risk to both water quality and supply. We took action straightaway to carry out maintenance work to the worst affected areas but it was clear that more work was needed.

Detailed investigations indicated that the preferred solution for customers and stakeholders was the replacement of all six tunnel sections along the length of the aqueduct. Investigations along the pipeline began in February 2019 and the data gathered helped us develop our proposals for the work. We put our plans out for consultation in Spring 2020 and nine planning applications were submitted to seven different local planning authorities spanning across Cumbria, Lancashire and Greater Manchester. The Haweswater Aqueduct Resilience Programme (Harp) is nearing the point at which planning permissions are confirmed hopefully by the end of 2023.

We have also been working behind the scenes to select a contractor to undertake this major programme of works. The process is complex due to the technical nature of the work and we are expecting to be in a position to announce the successful bidder in late 2024. We expect main construction work to start in 2025, however we may need to carry out some further site investigation works before then.

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