‘Smart’ valves installed in Leeds

The underground network of water pipes in Leeds are getting a £1.8m 21st century makeover to help cope with a huge spike in demand for water, with around 12 million litres of water consumed each day in the city centre alone.

It will involve six ‘smart’ valves being installed across six key areas of the water pipe network in the city centre including Wellington Road, Great George Street, Pontefract Lane, Woodhouse Lane, Hunslet Lane and University Road.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Executive Member for Regeneration, Transport and Planning at Leeds City Council, viewed one of the ‘smart’ valves before it is installed in Great George Street over the next few weeks.

The remotely controlled ‘smart’ valves will be fitted to key strategic parts of the water network in Leeds to help control the flow of water, which will prevent pressure surges that can occasionally lead to burst pipes and supply disruptions.

Jayne Blackburn, project manager at Yorkshire Water said: “This is an exciting new project for Yorkshire Water and will greatly benefit customers in Leeds and commuters who won’t be inconvenienced as much if we have a burst or leak on our network.”

“It was great to show Cllr Lewis the work we’re doing to create a ‘smart’ water network in Leeds – a first for Yorkshire.”

Cllr Richard Lewis said: “It’s exciting news that Leeds is the first city in Yorkshire to benefit from the latest technology in ‘smart’ valves. The new installations will play an important role in keeping the city centre moving by helping us avoid unnecessary disruption from burst water pipes.”

The project involves specialist sensors being installed in the pipes that are capable of remotely talking to the valves to open and close them and in doing so control water flow.

The work is being carried out by Yorkshire Water’s contract partners Morrison Utility Services and aims to be finished by end of September 2018.