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What is happening with Anglian Water’s 100km water pipeline from Grantham to Norfolk?





Wet weather, inflation and labour shortages are being blamed for delays to a water pipeline.

Anglian Water is building a new multi-million-pound water main network spanning hundreds of kilometres, in what it describes as one of Europe’s biggest environmental projects.

This includes a 90km pipeline which runs from Grantham to Bexwell, near Downham Market, via Peterborough, travelling through a number of villages in South Lincolnshire.

The first 800mm steel pipes were installed near Welby, about eight kilometres east of Grantham. Photo: Anglian Water
The first 800mm steel pipes were installed near Welby, about eight kilometres east of Grantham. Photo: Anglian Water

The first steel pipes in this section were installed near Welby, about eight kilometres east of Grantham, in April last year.

The plan, according to the water company, is crucial in keeping the taps turned on in rain-deprived areas in the East of England.

Hundreds of kilometres of underground, interconnecting pipelines, from Elsham in North Lincolnshire to Essex and Suffolk, will move 265 million litres of water a day from wetter to drier areas.

Anglian Water
Anglian Water

More than 100km of pipe has been laid in the ground across the country since the programme began.

However, works have now been paused on the northern section of the pipeline from Elsham to Peterborough.

A spokesperson for Anglian Water said work on the project is in progress.

“But, with the wettest winter on record and exceptional circumstances for large infrastructure projects such as Covid-19, labour shortages, supply issues caused by the war in Ukraine, and rising inflation, there has been an impact on the programme schedule,” they added.

“We have always said this pipeline programme is essential to ensure the dry, rapidly-growing East of England remains resilient to drought and can serve the increasing population.

“That has not changed, and we remain 100% committed to delivering the entirety of the programme and all of the environmental obligations associated with it.”

Anglian Water is rephasing some of the work planned in the region and is ‘working through these options’ with relevant stakeholders.

“This will be completed in stages and forms a significant part of our next business plan until 2030,” said the spokesperson.

Anglian Water had previously announced its ambition to have the pipeline running by 2025.

The full cost will depend on approval of the plan by Ofwat, the regulatory authority for water service, but the current investment is more than £500 million.



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