A cutting-edge method to improve 500,000 customer′s water supplies, will be taking place next month.


Northumbrian Water will be using ice to clean the inside of a section of pipe between Jackson Street and Swinburn Place in Gateshead.


It′s part of a £3 million project to clean and upgrade 9 kilometres of water mains across some 18 different locations in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Gateshead.


The technique which will be used along Jackson Street is called ‘ice pigging.′ It involves injecting slushy ice directly into the pipe which then moves along, scraping harmless sediment off the pipe walls.


It′s more environmentally friendly than pressure jetting, as it uses less water, and because the pipe doesn′t have to be emptied first, it speeds up the cleaning process, meaning less disruption to customers.


Carried out by supply partners, MMB, the work will take place overnight from 10.00pm on Thursday 1 November until 6.00am Friday 2 November. A lane closure will be in place on Gateshead High Street adjacent to Jackson Street.


Graeme Ridley, Northumbrian Water′s Project Manager, said: "It′s really important that we carry out this work to maintain an excellent quality of tap water for our customers well into the future.


"We′re using this innovative method of cleaning which means that it can be done a lot faster than other methods, and we′ve been working with Gateshead Council and carrying out the work overnight to try and keep disruption to a minimum."


Customers may experience discoloured water or low pressure while Northumbrian Water carries out the work. While discoloured water is still safe to use, running the cold water tap closest to the internal stop valve should help clear it.


The project will improve tap water quality for around 500,000 customers, as the mains are cleaned and upgraded in Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside over the next year.


To find out more about the work, customers can visit the ‘Tyneside Water Main Cleaning′ page on www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk