South Yorkshire’s piping network to be ‘flush’ cleaned to improve drinking water quality

Clean drinking water.
Clean drinking water.
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Yorkshire Water has embarked on a multi-million pound scheme to improve the taste and appearance of tap water for hundreds of thousands of people across South Yorkshire by cleaning 350km of pipes.

The company is ‘flush’ cleaning the pipe network in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley to improve water quality by reducing the presence of natural sediment that over time can stick to the inner lining of old cast iron pipes.

The work is part of a projected £13.5m programme that will involve the cleaning of large swathes of the company’s 31, 000km pipe network that stretches across Yorkshire.

David Stevenson, head of water distribution at Yorkshire Water, said: “Our mission is to provide water to people that is clean and safe to drink.

“Drinking water quality within Yorkshire is already excellent with 99.95 per cent of around 500,000 water tests we carried out in the last year meeting the stringent standards set by the Drinking Water Inspectorate.

“However, this project will improve water quality even further.”

Water quality will be improved by reducing mineral deposits in water pipes, such as iron and manganese, that on occasion can cause discoloured water to comes out of taps.

Although this is unlikely to be harmful to health in such small traces, it can affect taste and make water appear slightly cloudy.

To help prevent this, specialist Yorkshire Water technicians will systematically operate valves on water mains in thousands of streets across the region.

This will enable water to be flushed through the pipes at high speed, which stirs up and removes any historic deposits.

Yorkshire Water said there will be no road closures needed and the work will only take a few days in each area. Letters will also be sent to all residents in advance of flushing works being carried out on their street.