Kent £8.1m pipe goes under river and M20

Water mains being laid Image copyright South East Water
Image caption The new water mains will pass under a river, a motorway and a railway line

A £8.1m plan to replace a water pipeline will see the new mains pass under the River Medway, M20 and a railway line.

South East Water has said the scheme at Larkfield is set to be one of the most complex projects it has ever carried out.

The 12-month project will ensure the supply of water to Maidstone and the surrounding area, the company said.

The existing mains in Burham Marshes has burst nine times in four years.

Work on installing the new 4.3 mile (7km) pipe between Leybourne Lakes Country Park and the water treatment works at Burham is due to begin on 5 January.

'Difficult to access'

Delivery manager Chris Love, said engineers would aim to carry out the work without motorists or commuters being affected.

"When the old pipeline has burst in the past, it has been extremely difficult to access and repair as it's buried within marshland," he said.

He said the company had spent years investigating the best route for the new pipe.

Environmental work has already taken place at Leybourne Lakes Country Park and Bushey Wood near Burham to ensure wildlife habitats are affected as little as possible, he said.

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