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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, 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 127KB opens in a new window).

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

  • Inserting new durable pipe into the existing cast iron water main
  • Constructing completely new sections of pipe to replace the existing water main
  • Using hi-pressure water jetting or pulling sponge swabs through the main to clean it   

We'll need to carry out some initial preparation work on our pipes 

We're aiming to start our next stage of work in January 2019 to refurbish two pipelines that run along Montgomery Way and Warwick Road. Before this work starts we will need to empty the water from sections of our pipe network.  This will involve changing the direction of water flow so it travels along different pipes to your home. 

Our team will need to work in a number of locations to slowly transfer the water along different pipes. We'll complete this work over several weeks, but it is possible that the change in flow direction could disturb some of the natural minerals and cause a temporary discolouration of your tap water. 

We understand discoloured water doesn't look nice but don't worry, it's unlikely to be harmful and usually settles and returns back to running clear within a short period of time.  Should you experience any changes we have some discoloured water advice and information

Keeping you updated about our next stage of work

We understand roadworks are never welcome, and our project team have recently held some local drop-in sessions to provide further details about our work along Montgomery Way and Warwick Road.  The work on these large pipes may take up to 12 months to complete as the team will work on one pipe at a time to ensure the other is kept in operation to keep taps flowing.  

Our team will do all we can to minimise the disruption.  There will be temporary traffic management or traffic lights in place which will move along as our work progresses. This overview map illustrates where we'll be working.   




Expected Completion
Project 3 - Fields either side of the M6 at Park Road/Durranhill Road Laying a new section of pipe through the utility corridor underneath the M6 motorway We have working areas in the fields either side of the M6 motorway at junction 43.  Ongoing work in this location
Project 3 - Between the B6263 from Steele's Bank to Cumwhinton Water Treatment Works. (Section 3) Temporary two-way traffic lights. Click for more information (PDF 201KB opens in new window) The traffic lights will need to remain in place while we carry out some testing before the pipe is brought back into service.


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.

Overnight work

For some stages of the project we'll use high pressure water jetting to flush the pipes and remove the mineral deposits from the network.  This work often takes place overnight when there is less demand for water. We will be using equipment that will generate noise, however our teams will do all they can to ensure any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum.

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 our programme of work 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