Progress on water mains upgrade for Aldridge

This summer sees phase two of the improvement programme to replace the water main in Aldridge.

The project will see 7km of water main along Erdington Road and adjoining roads upgraded, resulting in improved water quality and a reliable water supply to customers.

Read more about the programme of improvements

We will be providing regular update of how the work is progressing.

Week one: 21 – 27 July

We started work at the Portland Road junction, which was the point at which phase one finished in 2018.

Photo of the trench for the poly pipeA new 100m long trench has been excavated in the highway up to Sandra Close and new poly pipe installed. The reinstatement of the road surface will be completed this week.

We are seeing quite a few near misses on site, with motorists not following the one-way signs correctly. Please take extra care and attention when driving through the one-way system and follow the temporary road signs to keep everyone safe. Additional advance warning signs have now been put up.

Thank you to all residents who kept our workforce hydrated during the hot spell last week. The team are most appreciative.

Week two will see the works progress over the railway bridge in the highway, completing the new open-cut trench works, ready to slipline the existing cast iron main in week three.

Posted: 31 July 2019

Week two: 28 July - 3 August

The new, flexible, plastic water main installation is progressing steadily through the difficult section of the works over the railway bridge on Erdington Road.

Photo of bridge works in Aldridge

Photo of the traffic management

Network Rail has been to site and approved the new route, a new trench has been excavated over the bridge and the water main is currently being installed.

The road surface has been reinstated where we've already completed work and we've adapted the way we do this to help the traffic flow, causing less disruptions.

Once we've finished the bridge work, our work will speed up as we move to an innovative installation technique using the old PVC pipe main to help with the new flexible plastic (PE) water main installation; the new pipe will be fed through the old pipe.

We are still witnessing issues with motorists not respecting the one-way diversion. Please follow the diversion route correctly to protect our workforce and other road users.

A big thank you to all residents who continue to look after the team with drinks and treats.

Posted: 7 Aug 2019

Week three: 4-10 August
We completed the installation of 160m of water main this week, which included the use of a smaller pipe, known as a rail. The 'rail' was laid on the opposite side of the road and eliminated the need for us to undertake extra work to reach each of the properties.

This method helps us to reduce our carbon footprint and ensures a good flow and pressure of water for customers.


As we have now completed the difficult section of works over the railway bridge, final preparations have been made to apply the slipline technique to the existing cast iron main.

The one-way system has been extended and we now expect the works to start progressing at a faster pace along Erdington Road as we adopt the slipline method.
Thank you to all the residents for their continued patience and understanding during these works.
Posted: 13 Aug 2019

Week four: 11-17 August 
We installed 140 metres of 110mm plastic pipe along Erdington Road last week. This length of main was completed by using the old 6” cast iron main as a duct, to prevent any additional digging.  We used temporary overland pipes to make sure our customers had little to no disruption to their water supply. 

The grass verges near the junction of Portland Road will be fully reinstated using the original turf taken up, this will be completed by the end of the week. This week will see another 130 metres of pipe installed, this takes us past St Francis of Assisi School, as planned,  to avoid disruption during the school term. 

Thank you again to all our customers and road users for their patience. 

Photo of week four of the Aldridge improvements
Posted: 20 August 2019

Week five 18 - 24 August 
Aldridge improvements - week fiveLast week saw 160 metres of mains installed from the junction of Cranleigh to the school exit on Erdington Road, this includes the connections to Sandra Close and Cranleigh Close. We also completed several road crossings to pick up ten properties on the opposite side of the road from where the new main has being laid.

This week will see another 100 metres of main installed, taking us near the junction of Wheatland Grove, with the road surface reinstated up to the junction of Daniels Lane.

Next week, to coincide with the new school term, the one-way system will be replaced by two-way traffic lights. They will be in operation from Wheatland Grove towards Whetstone Lane in 150 metre sections. These traffic lights will be manually operated during the peak time periods 7:30am until 9:30am and again 2.30pm until 6pm during week days, this will help to maintain the flow of traffic in both directions. Please be extra vigilant and proceed through the works at a reduced speed.

Thank you once again for your patience.

Posted: 29 August 2019

Week six: 25-31 August 2019
Photo of the road with the work completed.Last week we laid 123 metres of 110mm main from the school exit to near the junction of Wheatland Grove along Erdington Road with 22 new service connections completed.

Road sweepers cleaned up the road on Saturday, before the one-way system was replaced on Sunday with temporary traffic lights to allow access to St Francis of Assisi school.

This week we estimate 100 metres of main will be installed with new connections on Wheatland Grove taking us up to Hayfield Grove.

Next week the traffic lights will be three-way, from Wheatland Grove to Hayfield Grove incorporating Whetstone Lane. This will allow us to achieve over 100 metres. We shall be doing our best to alleviate any traffic congestion but there may be some small delay to your journey during the peak periods.

Thanks again for your patience during these essential works.

Posted: 3 September 2019

Week seven: 1-7 September 2019
Photo of the old road under the new road
Last week 100 metres of  main was installed taking us to near the junction of Hayfield Grove.

This week , we were surprised to find an old roadway 700mm beneath the existing road which, although is interesting, it has slowed progress a little due to the extra work to break through to the depths we require.

This week we will complete another 100 metres and then next week the method changes to trenching - digging a trench in order to lay the new main. There is a possibility this slow process could be avoided by 'directional drilling' under the road, which will significantly increase our progress by reducing the excavations required. However the ground conditions will determine whether this is possible.

Posted: 13 September 2019

Week eight: 8-14 September 2019
Last week another 85 metres of main was laid, taking us opposite Whetstone Lane. The old road buried under the existing which had slowed progress appears to be no longer there (possibly deeper than we need to go or was simply removed) this suggests we can directional drill with the aim of achieving 120 metres this week.

With the reinstatement being completed from last week, the traffic lights on Erdington Road will move closer to Whetstone Lane and Knights Hill. Next week we expect to achieve 100 metres with the lights being moved from Whetstone Lane to Knights Hill and there the pipe ends with a fire hydrant.

Thank you for your patience with these difficult but essential works.

Week nine: 15-21 September

Week 10 update in Aldridge
We laid 122metres of 110mm main last week with nine service connections made. Reinstatements were completed up to Whetstone Lane.

This week will see another 100metres completed at which point the main ends.

Next week all reinstatements will be completed and Erdington Road will cleared of traffic management. The works then move to Sandra Close and Cranleigh Close.

Week ten: 22 -28 September
Photo of progress in Aldridge
Last week the final pipes were laid along Erdington Road and the traffic lights were removed on Monday.

This week the works have moved to Crainleigh Close, with temporary supplies installed to minimise disruption to customers before the new main is laid.  The majority of the reinstatements will be completed by the end of week 11. There will not be any traffic interruption along Erdington Road while these cul-de-sacs are completed.

Week eleven: 29 September - 5 October

Last week 80m of new main was laid along Cranleigh Close with eleven services and connections completed. We are continuing on Cranleigh Close,  with further 14 services and connections made and most of the excavations reinstated.

Photo of Aldridge update
Next week the remaining excavations will be completed and we start works on Sandra Close.

Week twelve: 6 - 12 October
Last week we completed the works on CraneLeigh Close which totalled 160 metres of main and 25 service connections.

This week we have started with excavations on Sandra Close with the new main expected to be in the ground by the end of the week, and all excavations to be completed by the end of next week.

All our customers will be put on an overland temporary pipe whilst the main is being installed avoiding the need for any long planned interruptions.

Week thirteen: 13 - 19 October

Photo of progress in Aldridge
Following the excavations on Sandra Close last week, we have completed installation of the new pipe, ahead of backfilling and reinstatement of the road next week. Our works will then progress onto Hallcroft Way, which will begin at the junction opposite Sandra Close.

A one-way traffic management system will be in place on Hallcroft Way, which will see vehicles entering the road at the junction opposite Sandra Close and exiting the road near to the junction of Portland Road.

To avoid disruption to residents and to maintain access to properties, steel plates will be used to cover any excavations outside driveways. The works on Hallcroft Way are expected to last for approximately four weeks.

Temporary two-way traffic lights will be erected on Erdington Road this weekend outside 106 and 108. We expect them to be taken down this Sunday afternoon, these are to finally complete work that couldn’t be done whilst the local school was open.

Thank you for your patience during these works.

Week fourteen: 20-26 October

Photo of roadworksThis week, we laid 100 metres of 110mm pipe along Hallcroft Way.

By Monday the 4th of November we hope the excavations up to number 36 shall be backfilled and reinstated. The junction of Erdington Road will then be opened up again to two-way traffic. At the same, the works will move along Hallcroft Way with a further 100 metres to be completed next week.

There are a lot of safety barriers and road plates being used and this can cause a little anxiety when gaining access or leaving a property. If you are worried, please speak to one of the staff on site and they will ensure you’re ok and direct you through the barriers.

Week sixteen: 3-9 November 
Last week 100 metres of pipe was 'directional drilled' along Hallcroft Way. The main was tested and the water sampled, with the thumbs up we then were able to transfer 18 service connections to the property boundarys from the old main to the new. The transfer to the new main usually takes a couple of minutes. If you notice a little air or a splutter from the cold tap just let the tap run until it clears.

The junction at Erdington Road has now being opened up and more excavations will be backfilled and reinstated as we progress.

Our main aim this week is to continue to transfer service pipes and prepare for the directional drill which will be now be starting on 18 November. We would usually expect a further 100 metres next week, but due to the amount of cables under the ground, the team have to excavate with extra caution.

Photo of cables underground

Week seventeen: 10-16 November 
We continue to transfer individual service pipes to the new main, and most of these excavations will be backfilled and reinstated by the end of the week. This also puts us back to a position where we can carry on extending the new main along Hallcroft Way. We estimate over 100 metres will be installed next week.