Northumbrian Water

Northumbrian Water (NWL) assumed responsibility for an estimated 13,500 km of private drains and sewers when the law changed to transfer ownership from property owners to local water companies. However, only 5% of the inherited network was mapped.

NWL’s original plan was to manually survey one third of the estate in the current AMP planning period. Learnings from this first period would then be applied to the remaining, unmapped network. However, the project to map one third of the network was estimated to cost £10 million and take five years.

The firm needed a faster, more cost-effective solution.


1Spatial proposed an approach built on its 1Integrate solution. We worked with subject-matter experts at NWL to develop a series of rules to infer the missing information based on limited records available and the expertise of NWL’s staff.


This innovative, iterative approach cost just £1.25 million to map the entire network – a saving of £8.75 million (87 per cent) against the first five-year budget alone – and would be complete in two years, 1/8 of the originally planned time.

As a result, NWL more quickly acquired the information it needs to provide its excellent customer service and to build more effective maintenance and investment programmes.


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