Renovating and cleaning water mains
We have two main programmes of work: water main rehabilitation and operational maintenance.
We replace and reline water mains in areas where we have identified a pattern of customers experiencing discoloured water.
We also clean water mains, to keep water clear of the minerals that naturally occur.
Minerals such as iron and manganese can be deposited on the inside of the pipes. If these deposits are disturbed due to a sudden change in flow or pressure (caused by a burst main, for example) customers may notice their water appears discoloured.
To avoid this inconvenience and to reduce the risk of consumers receiving discoloured water, from time to time South West Water needs to remove any build-up in a controlled and planned way.
How you can help
You can look after the pipes in your home by lagging them in winter (Get ready for winter), using only approved fittings and getting plumbing work done by a Watersafe - approved plumber - this will also safeguard the public supply from possible contamination caused by back-syphoning.
You could also think about replacing rather than fixing your supply pipe especially if you've had it fixed before.
Using ice crystals to clean water mains
Using an innovative new process for the first time in the South West, ice crystals will be used to clean the trunk main in Tiverton in April 2016. Click on the links below for more information about using 'ice pigging' to clean water mains.