From 21 May 2012, engineering company Morrisons Utilities will begin work to replace the 50-year-old pipe with a new plastic version.

The scheme is part of a wider £4 million ($US 6.32 million) program of work to ensure residents of Ripon, Harrogate and Knaresborough continue to receive quality drinking water.

More than 10 km of pipe will be replaced and 6 km relined in Harrogate and Knaresborough, and in Ripon approximately 9 km will be replaced.

Yorkshire Water Project Manager Tom Keighley said "There have been a number of incidents of water discolouration as a result of bursts and leaks on this ageing pipe.

“Normally work of this magnitude would require a full road closure; however, we've worked hard with the local council to develop a plan of work which enables us to still keep the road open, whilst allowing us to complete the work as quickly as possible.”

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Yorkshire Water is also installing technology along its underground network which sends frequent information to the control centre detailing what is happening inside the pipes, and will alert the company to any changes in pressure that might result from a burst.