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According to Thames Water the £2.7million project to replace ageing water mains will save enough water every two days to fill an Olympic-size swimming pool.

The company said last night (March 23) work was progressing well in the scheme to replace seven kilometres of ancient cast-iron pipe with plastic.

Directional drilling is also being used, which sees engineers dig a hole at each end and send a drilling-machine from one to the other, slotting the new pipe as it goes to minimise disruption.

Reading East MP, Rob Wilson, said: “We have been keeping a close eye on Thames Water to make sure its work is carried out with the least impact as possible on residents and road-users.

“The investment going in is very important and the engineers on site are getting on with the job and getting it done as quick as they can.”

Thames Water’s programme delivery manager, Andy Popple, added: “We apologise for the inevitable disruption that is being caused while we complete this essential project but by improving the network, it should mean that we will not have to come back to fix any bursts or leaks any time soon.”

The project started in February and is due to be completed by August 2011.

Luke Walsh

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