These are your frequently asked questions about our work in Duffryn. This page is updated often with any new information or common questions we're asked.
Who can I speak to if I need help or want to know more?
Richard Hiscox is your Community Liaison Officer and is up-to-date with the project's progress. If you have any concerns or questions, Richard will be able to help you. You can call him on 07562 435 504 or email Richard.Hiscox@newportcityhomes.com
If you have any concerns that your heating and hot water are not working, please contact us and let us know. If there are problems with your home, we'll visit you to complete necessary repairs.
How long will the replacement works take?
The works start in October 2023, and will be completed in Spring 2024. We will keep customers and communities up-to-date with any key project developments.
Will replacing the pipes improve water pressure?
The water pressure won't change as the water is fed into the pipes from Welsh Water. If you're experiencing problems with your water pressure, please contact Welsh Water. For general enquiries, call Welsh Water on 0800 052 0145. If there is an emergency, please call Welsh Water on 0800 052 0130.
You can also check if your area is experiencing problems by visiting Welsh Water's In Your Area map.
Will replacing the pipes improve the low temperatures?
The new pipework will improve the performance of the network, thereby improving the temperature of water across the estate.
However, the system won't start improving until this work is finished. It's frustrating to experience low temperatures and issues during peak times but, by completing the works now, it prevents a full system shut down that happened in early 2023.
Why wasn't the work completed during the summer?
We know that major works to heating and hot water can be disruptive during the Winter months. After the outages in early 2023, we started work immediately, but the first few months of work weren't visible.
It takes time to plan work of a large scale and to secure specialist contractors needed. We studied designs, compared costs, reliability, environmental impact, and potential disruption. This gave us a strong foundation in choosing a contractor (Vital Energi) to complete these works.
To delay would result in the replacement works starting in Spring 2024. As the existing network is weak, we've chosen to complete the works now to avoid complete outages of heating and hot water over the Winter months. This gives us the best chance to keep the system running, and supplying your homes with heating and hot water when it is cold.
We're confident that the works will be of a high standard, and serve the local community for decades to come.
What is being done about path closures, mud, and flooding?
We're aware that heavy rainfall is likely to cause flooding on pathways, and alternative pathways you might normally use to avoid flooded areas will be closed temporarily because of the works. We understand the inconvenience this causes in getting around your community. We'll be working with residents who are directly affected because of this, and we encourage you to get in touch with us if this severely impacts you.
We're vigilant in monitoring the site for excess mud and making sure that this is cleaned regularly. Vital Energi are committed to keeping your local area as clean as reasonably possible. We walk the site regularly to make sure that safety is maintained.
What are the risks for disruption to heating and hot water supply?
We're working hard to make sure there is minimal disruption to the community. As we're laying new pipes alongside existing pipes, there will be fewer interruptions to heating and hot water supply.
At peak times (early morning and evening time), there might be lower temperatures of heating and hot water. This is due to high demand on the system. Some homes might be more affected that others (for example, those on the outskirts of the Duffryn community.) We're sorry for any inconvenience that this might cause.
Despite best effort, the location of the pipework may mean some unavoidable disruption. We're prepared for this, and we'll communicate with and support you during these times.
There is always potential for further leaks on the current network. If this happens, we'll need to shut down the system to carry out urgent repairs. We learnt from incidents in early 2023 how to respond to leaks quickly and efficiently. We'll be able to reduce negative impact as much as possible. We'll also have support from our contractor Vital Energi. This means we have a strong team to deal with challenges in the best way possible.
How will I be reimbursed if there's an outage of heating and hot water?
If we need to turn off the system, or a leak affect supplies, we'll make sure you are reimbursed.
If you do not have heating and hot water for more than four hours, we'll reimburse £20 to you. This will increase by £20 for every 24 hours there is a disruption to your supply.
This reimbursement will be credited to your heating account. You do not need to report anything to us. The reimbursement will be added automatically. As it takes time to process, it will not be added instantly during, or immediately after, the shut down.
How will this impact the roads in the area?
There will be an increase in traffic at the start of each workday from Monday to Friday. This traffic will go from the Energy Centre at Henry Morgan Close where contractors collect work vehicles before moving to locations across the estate.
There will also be an increase in traffic at the end of each workday from Monday - Friday.
The traffic increase will be minimal, and we don't expect any congestion problems. Our contractors will be respectful to avoid peak times (e.g. school run times, etc.)
During the day, we'll sometimes have deliveries of pipework and other materials from the Energy Centre. Again, we'll avoid peak times.
How will I know what's happening as the project progresses?
For any work that impacts you directly, we'll write to you with all the information you need. If you would like to get these letters from us in a different format, please contact us so that we can update your contact preferences.
Throughout the works, we'll be holding community engagement events and will let you know when these are taking place.
Why are you replacing the pipework?
The current pipework dates back to the 1970s and has come to the end of its life. After outages in early 2023, we commissioned specialists to review the heat network. This involved thermal drone imaging and heat mapping to understand what was happening.
During this time, we found several large leaks and some smaller leaks across the network. These leaks caused the pipes to lose water, impacting hot water supply.
When the pipes leak, they stop the system from working. The emergency repairs completed in early 2023 were a temporary solution. If we continue carrying out emergency repairs, it adds pressure other areas of the system. This means that smaller leaks become larger, or new leaks appear.
We wanted a long-term solution for the community to make sure this doesn't happen, and this is why we're replacing the pipework.
What will happen during the switch over from the old network to the new?
When the works are complete, we'll need to connect the new pipes to the boiler house. This will take place in early 2024. These switch-over events will happen in a short space of time.
During these events, we'll temporarily stop heating and hot water. We'll be switching over small patches of homes in the area. This will happen in stages, so not all homes will be effected at the same time.
We'll let you know the planned times of the switch-over events ahead of schedule so you'll be able to prepare.