We all pay when key infrastructure is damaged

Over the last couple of years I’ve reported a lot about the new electricity cables feeding power into Derby.  The multi-million pound project has ensured that Derby should not have a major blackout due to cable failure in the foreseeable future

But what should have been noticed, but wasn’t, was the risk that clumsy installation has had on our road drainage.

Repaired gulley pot awaiting pipework.

Repaired gulley pot awaiting pipework.

Few people think about where the water goes after it disappears down a grating by the kerb, but underneath there should be a ‘pot’ to catch the worst of the grit, and a pipe leading into the drainage system.

When the roads were dug up for the new cable, some of the drainage pipework was damaged, and not all of it was repaired.  After problems with flooding in Heatherton, the Council has been surveying the whole of the route where the road was dug up.

Area with damage problem marked near the gulley after being inspected by CCTV.

Area with damage problem marked near the gulley after being inspected by CCTV.

They say that CCTV shows that nearly every road has a gulley with likely damage.  Western Power are apparently, and rightly, very apologetic.  Their contractors are primarily to blame, but more intensive oversight might have highlighted the problem sooner.

The result is that many of our roads are having to be dug up again to repair the drainage pipework.  It’s an extra cost to be paid.

The Council is having its costs paid by Western Power.  Western Power will no doubt try to get its costs back from their contractor.  And if there isn’t enough fat in this contract to pay for this extra, it’ll be other future contracts that will have to add a little bit more to cover this.

Repaired pipework, awaiting inspection.

Repaired pipework, awaiting inspection.

So who really pays?  Well, in the end it’s probably everyone who uses any of the services that such contractors do work on; electricity, water, gas, even railways.

So we all pay.

And the message? Be responsible! Don’t scoop broken pipes into the dump truck and pretend it wasn’t you.

 

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