Report No FR0157
A PRELIMINARY STUDY OF THE COSTS AND
BENEFITS OF SERVICE PIPE REHABILITATION
To review current practices and cost of service pipe rehabilitation and to assess the
effects on water quality and flow of the various pipe rehabilitation methods.
The cost of rectifying problems caused by poor service pipe performance has been
estimated to be a significant proportion of future expenditure within the Water Industry.
Furthermore, when mains rehabilitation is being carried out, the opportunity arises to
perform work on service pipes.
Throughout the UK Water Industry, there is a large variation in methods, and therefore
cost, of service pipe rehabilitation. There is a need to establish which methods are most
- During mains replacement, where service pipe performance is currently acceptable, the
most cost effective solution is generally direct transfer of service pipes, regardless of
service pipe material.
- During mains relining, the most cost effective solution is to do no work on service
pipes where performance is currently acceptable.
- During mains relining or replacement, in areas where service pipe performance is
currently below standard, remedial action should be performed on the communication pipes.
- Initial results from two zones indicate that C02 cleaning offers a cost effective remedy
in areas where service pipe performance is currently below standard. C02 cleaning of
supply pipes offers large flow improvements at the kitchen tap.
- C02 cleaning should be attempted to remedy blocked communication pipes, except in areas
with known lead problems, where replacement is recommended.
- Breading as a potential remedy to poor supply complaints is not cost effective compared
with C02 cleaning.
- In soft water areas large benefits to water quality and flow can be achieved by
replacement of galvanised iron service pipes which are providing inadequate performance.
- In some circumstances the use of no-dig techniques reduces the cost of communication
pipe replacement when compared with conventional trenching techniques.
- Service pipe rehabilitation policies should be reviewed.
- Further trials performed to investigate the methods and benefits of C02 and air scouring
of service pipes.
- The use of no-dig techniques increased.
- Consideration given to offering supply pipe cleaning as a customer service.
V RESUME OF CONTENTS
This report reviews current service pipe rehabilitation policies and the associated
costs. Several field trials performed to assess the benefits of various service pipe
rehabilitation methods are described. The results are discussed and suggestions for cost
effective service pipe rehabilitation policies are given.
Copies of the report are available from FWR, price £25.00, less 20% to FWR Members.