£300m project’s mole hole cutter

Top hill low - the cutter
Top hill low - the cutter

YORKSHIRE Water has started work to install a new 230-metre long water pipe to cross under the River Hull.

The purpose of the scheme is to protect water supplies in East Yorkshire by adding to the company’s £300million underground grid of water pipes, which came into its own earlier this year when the company used it to move up to 200 million litres of treated drinking water a day across from North Yorkshire to the drought stricken east of the region, where groundwater stores were unusually low.

Engineering specialist Morrison Utility Services, who are carrying out the project on the company’s behalf, will begin by creating a 230-metre long tunnel, which at its deepest point will be eight metres below the surface in order to ensure it is safely protected well below the River Humber.

Once this is done, using specialist drilling and digging equipment, a new 230-metre plastic pipe will be installed, before the tunnel is filled in, with the project expected to be completed by December 2012.

Ross Housley, project manager for Yorkshire Water, said: “Each year we replace and add to our underground network with miles and miles of new pipe, but the fact that we’re tunnelling under a huge river makes this project quite exceptional, as does the fact that much of the work is taking place in our nature reserve. Obviously we’ll be making sure our work doesn’t disturb the local wildlife, such as otters and water voles, in any way and once completed, this pipe will help to give us even greater flexibility in terms of how we move water around our underground grid, further improving the security of supplies and ensuring customers in Scarborough and Hull continue to receive some of the best drinking water in the world.

Visit the Yorkshire Water website to find out more.