Severn Trent Water will be reopening Harborne Lane in Selly Oak on Sunday (05/03) after a large water main burst last November.

Paul Baldwyn, Severn Trent’s area operations manager, explains what’s happening: “We’re really happy to say that the burst pipe in Harborne Lane, Selly Oak is now all fixed and back in service – supplying hundreds of thousands of customers across Birmingham with top quality water.

The company has been working round the clock since the repair work began on the burst pipe in November. The broken piece of pipe has been cut out and removed, the new pipe put in place, connected up and the whole network of pipes that were affected thoroughly disinfected.

Paul continues: “Once the pipe was fixed, we could concentrate on getting the road back to normal. We’ve now started the resurfacing and we’ll be reopening the road on Sunday (5 March). This is a few days later than planned, and we’re really sorry for this, but we had to be absolutely sure that the damage to the road was all fixed, and that any voids were identified and filled.

“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’ve been working hard on this constantly since the burst happened.

It may have looked like there wasn’t much being done on site to fix this pipe at times, but in fact there was lots of work going on in and around the city. Severn Trent engineers had to come up with a way of fixing the pipe without affecting the water supply for the people of Birmingham. This meant they needed to be able to move water around their network of pipes in a way that allowed the damaged pipe to be switched off along with the twin pipe next to it without affecting the water pressure and without causing any discolouration.

To make sure this could be done, all of the valves etc. that make up the network were checked so that it was absolutely certain the repair could go ahead with the absolute minimum disruption. This work did take quite a long time as there were over 500 separate checks to be carried out. There was a big hole where the burst pipe was and the road surface was damaged. The pipe is actually 6m underneath the road so you can see what a big job it’s been to fix it.

Paul added: “It’s really important that we took the time to make sure we did this right – the last thing we wanted to do was cut off water supplies or cause discoloured water while we worked.

“Once again we’d like to say thank you to anyone affected by this and thank them for their patience – it’s been a long and difficult job, but we got it done without affecting water supplies for hundreds of thousands of customers across the city.”