New chapter for Devizes water supply scheme

A major two-year project to upgrade pipes carrying water to homes and businesses in Devizes is stepping into a new phase as the opening stage of the £2 million investment in the market town nears completion.

The story so far

Our seven-figure overhaul of supply services in the Wiltshire market town got under way in autumn 2023, as we replaced cast-iron mains with plastic pipes to safeguard the reliability of the system and reduce the risk of leaks, pushing back the start to ensure the Devizes Carnival could take place unimpeded.

Teams have carried out refits in Sheep Street, Maryport Street, Monday Market Street and Sidmouth Street, Morris Lane, Bridewell Street, Long Street, Hare & Hounds Street and Hilworth Road, the first of a scheduled four-part project.

Next steps

With that first element of work close to concluding, attention will turn to the middle section of the upgrade, which will see phases two and three merged, starting at the beginning of March.

In total, more than two kilometres of pipes will be replaced throughout the centre of the town before April 2025, with each phase being carefully planned to ensure the minimum amount of disruption to the local community.

The new phase gets under way on Monday 4 March and continues over 35 weeks until the beginning of November. It focuses on the centre of the town, including St Johns Street, St Johns Court, High Street, Wine Street, The Market Place, Station Road and Castle Lane.

Project manager Louie Cosentino said: “The opening section of this extensive project has progressed really well and our thanks go to customers and businesses throughout Devizes for their patience and understanding while our team have worked hard to complete it on schedule.

"We know that such a major investment inevitably means there is a significant impact on the town, but we’ve worked closely with them and Wiltshire Council to ensure that any disruption is kept to a minimum as much as possible and we’ve reopened roads as we’ve progressed.

"That will continue in this middle phase of the project, and we will continue writing to customers and businesses directly."

Answering your questions

We will hold further public drop-in sessions in the town to give customers more information about the forthcoming phase and answer any questions they may have.

The first session will take place at Devizes Market in Market Place, on Thursday 1 February between 9am and 3pm, with a further one booked for Monday, 12 February at Devizes Town Hall between 4pm and 8pm.

Investing in the future

We currently spend more than £8 million a year on replacing ageing water mains which, as well as being prone to leaks, cause quality issues such as discoloured water and poor pressure for customers.

We are also proposing our largest ever investment in water and sewerage services – around £3.5 billion - to improve the health of rivers, reduce pollution and create around 2,000 extra jobs across the region between 2025 and 2030.

That is more than double the current five-yearly spend of around £1.5 billion – subject to regulators approving our Business Plan.

Phase 2 programme – 4 March to 1 November 2024 (35 weeks)

  • 4 March to 31 May – Two-way and multi-way lights in St John’s Street and Market Place; Includes night-time work.
  • 18 March to 5 April – Three-week closure of St John’s Court.
  • 3 June to 12 July – North side of Market Place closed to through traffic for six weeks (includes night-time work); Access to parking maintained; Road open on market days on Thursdays (day and night).
  • 15 July to 9 August – Wine Street closed to through traffic for two weeks; Pedestrian access for residents and to businesses maintained.
  • 12 August to 6 September – High Street closed to through traffic for four weeks; Pedestrian access for residents and to businesses maintained.
  • 9 to 20 September – Night closure of Little Brittox for two weeks; Pedestrian access open during the day.
  • 23 September to 11 October – Station Road closed to through traffic for four weeks from junction with Market Place; Access for residents and businesses maintained.
  • 14 October to 1 November – Castle Lane closed for four weeks; Access for residents and businesses maintained.