Domestic Supply Pipe Replacement – Multiple Dwellings

Domestic Supply Pipe Replacement – Multiple Dwellings

The back story to the works is that this terrace of 8 Victorian houses was supplied through a single under-sized water main, which meant that the houses were receiving low pressure water that dropped when residents used washing machines, showers and baths.

A new main and services were required, which in most streets would be a simple task. Hillside Terrace was more problematic, because it isn’t on a main road, and is only accessible via a narrow path at the front and rear. The front path already had gas, electricity and telecoms services in, leaving no room for any further excavations. The rear alley is very narrow, and because the terrace is on a steep bank the path is almost at roof level, dropping steeply down to the rear garden in 2 large terraced steps, presenting serious logistical and technical challenges.

To complicate the situation even further, the main and services are all privately owned, which meant that all 8 home owners had to agree to the works and to appoint an informal chairman to act as a liaison with the water supply company and the prospective contractors who were bidding for the works. In the early stages of the project this meant a lot of letters, emails and site visits as various contractors put forward their proposals to the tenants and Wessex Water.

After nearly 6 months of difficult negotiations Pipefix were selected as the preferred bidder because they demonstrated a clear ability to manage the complex relationships with the tenants and Wessex Water, and a clear proposal on how to overcome the practical and technical challengers of installing water services in difficult ground conditions and in difficult to access locations.

The pictures don’t really do the job justice – our engineers had to mole some pipes 15 feet down vertical banks behind retaining walls. The ground was nearly all hard chalk and had to be dug out mostly by hand, and we had to get the pipes up into the properties through some very hard to reach locations.

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