Project Pipeline: County Durham and Tees Valley

This work will boost the resilience of supply links between our reservoirs and treatment works in Teesdale, and parts of central and southern County Durham. Our investment will increase reliability, reduce leakage and provide high quality drinking water for customers for decades to come. This phase of the project - Phase 1 - will construct a new replacement pipeline from Lartington Water Treatment Works to Gainford and a new strategic transfer main between Whorley Hill SR and Shildon SR.

Update by Karen Alexander

Good morning

Last month saw a HUGE milestone for our 57km Project Pipeline: County Durham and Tees Valley team!

This was the moment that ‘Penelope’, the tunnel boring machine, broke through to the west shaft, completing its 220m journey under the River Tees.

The tunnelling took just under five weeks to complete, having started at the base of the 46 metre deep east shaft in early April, reaching the 32 metre deep west shaft on Wednesday 15th May.


The machine was then lifted out using a special crane, with the team comprising Northumbrian Water, Farrans Construction and tunnelling specialists Joseph Gallagher Limited, set to make a start on the next phase.

This will include sealing work before the twin water mains are installed horizontally through the tunnel.  Putting two mains through the tunnel adds resilience to this £155m investment, ensuring a back-up is readily available in case of any problems.

The pipeline will connect Lartington Water Treatment Works with around 200,000 customers to the south of County Durham and across into Teesdale.

Kind regards

Karen Alexander

Farrans’ Stakeholder and Social Value Co-ordinator

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