Selly Oak water main repair work finally begins

Severn Trent Water has finally began work on the Selly Oak water main which burst back in November 2016.

The pipe which is some 20ft below the surface of the road burst back in November 2016 causing thousands of gallons of water to cascade down Harborne Lane flooding homes at the bottom of the hill.

But finally engineers have gained access to the pipe so repair work can now begin which is hoping to be completed by the end of February.

In a statement on it’s website Severn Trent Water said: “We’re happy to say that we’ve finally finished all of the work we need to do in the background to allow us to fix the pipe that burst on Harborne Lane in Selly Oak.  As you can see from the photos, work to repair the pipe has now begun in earnest and we expect it to be complete by mid-February.  We’ve now dug down and reached the broken pipe.  Once the pipe is repaired, we can then start work to get Harborne Lane itself repaired reopened and everything back to normal and we expect this to take until the end of February.

We absolutely understand the frustrations of those affected by the burst and the subsequent road diversion, and we know it’s been going on for a long time, but we want to reassure everyone that we have been working hard on this in the background constantly since the burst happened.

It may have looked like we weren’t doing much on site to fix this pipe, but we were in fact doing lots of work in and around the city.  We’ve had to come up with a way of fixing the pipe without affecting the water supply for the people of Birmingham.  This means we need to be able to move water around our network of pipes in a way that will allow us to switch off the pipe without affecting the water pressure and without causing any discolouration.

To make sure we can do this, we’ve been out checking all of the valves etc that make up the network so that we’re sure we can do the repair with the absolute minimum disruption.  This work has taken some time as there have been over 500 separate checks to be carried out.

There’s a big hole where the burst pipe is and the road surface is damaged.  The pipe is actually 6m underneath here so you can see it’s going to be a big job to fix it, but we’re now getting on with it.

It’s really important that we take the time to make sure we do it right – the last thing we want to do is cut off water supplies or cause discoloured water while we work.”

One side of Harborne Lane will remain closed whilst the work is carried out. We will update everyone towards the end of February when we know and exact date the road reopens.