£4m scheme keeps Rye’s tap water clear

A FOUR million pound scheme will keep Rye’s tap water running clear says Southern Water.

The water company is in Rye this week as part of a three-year programme to flush 1,266km (nearly 800 miles) of mains with water to clear them out.

This will help prevent discoloured water coming out of customers’ taps.

Flushing has taken place in areas including North Salts, South Undercliff and Ferry Road.

Southern Water has more than 13,500km of water supply mains across Sussex, Kent, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, the majority of which are iron and some of which are more than 100 years old.

As water travels through the network of pipes on its way to customers, it can become discoloured, appearing orange or brown in colour. While this is rare and harmless to health, it can cause concern to customers and generate complaints

During the process, water is flushed through the mains via hydrants at just the right rate to remove the deposits, without causing problems elsewhere in the network. It’s a delicate balance and the process must be planned and carried out carefully.

The techniques developed have been designed to minimise the amount of water used.

When the water mains are being flushed, customers may notice a drop in water pressure and short term water discolouration, and they are advised not to use washing machines or dishwashers during the flushing.

The process takes a few hours in each area and information cards are posted through customers’ doors before the work begins.

Southern Water’s Commercial Manager Nick Schroder, who is overseeing the project, said: “Our mains flushing programme has been meticulously planned to be as effective as possible, whilst causing a minimum of disruption for our customers.

“We’d like to thank everyone for their patience while we carry out this work. Although we won’t be in the community for very long, the benefits of the work will last well into the future.”