July 27, 2022 10.25 am This story is over 23 months old

60km pipeline across Lincolnshire could meet water shortages

The east of England is officially classed as ‘water stressed’

Anglian Water has submitted plans for a major pipeline across Lincolnshire to meet future water shortages.

The proposed 57km pipe would move water from North Lincolnshire to the southern part of the county where rainfall is more scarce.

The company says the pipeline’s importance “cannot be understated” and is “critical in helping us secure water supplies across our region for many years to come.”

It will stretch from Elsham in the north to Waddington near Lincoln in the south.

Planning applications are being submitted to the four local authorities it would cross (City of Lincoln, West Lindsey, North Kesteven and North Lincolnshire).

The pipeline will be buried below ground, and will be capable of carrying 55 million litres of water per day.

The proposal includes a 3km spur at Bracebridge Heath and a 1.5km spur at Welton.

The scheme is part of the largest infrastructure project Anglian Water has ever undertaken in order to deal with climate change and rising water demands.

The Elsham to Lincoln pipeline is a critical part of Anglian Water’s upgrades | Photo: Anglian Water

It says that the east of England in particular faces a huge challenge, with a growing population and drier weather. Without action, the region would have a shortfall of 30 million litres a day by 2025.

It will also mean fewer homes and businesses rely on a single water source.

Initial works are planned for this winter or early 2023 if plans are approved. The full construction is expected to be completed by 2025.

Above ground, there will be a nitrate plant and reservoir near Elsham, and a pumping station at Welton.

The application says it has attempted to minimise disruption to road users and residents, but there will be some impact.

The route is set to pass beneath the M180 near junction 5 (Elsham), the A46 near Nettleham, and the A15 near Glentham.

A proposed facility at the Elsham end of the pipeline | Photo: Anglian Water

It also crosses Lincoln’s Greetwell Hollow Quarry (a Site of Special Scientific Interest), although it says the impact will be negligible.

There are eight areas where impact to archaeological remains (including possible Roman settlements) are unavoidable.

The application states: “The east of England is officially classed as ‘water stressed’ meaning we must make careful use of this precious resource to balance supply and demand in the region.

“To tackle this challenge, Anglian Water is taking a twin-track approach to planning for the future, reducing demand through reducing leakage, installing smart meters and investing in water efficiency measures whilst also looking at new ways to supply water, reducing the amount of water taken from rivers and boreholes.”