§ Mr. Pike
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what information he has as to how many miles of drains and sewers in the north-west were built (a) in the 19th century and (b) before 1914 and as to how many are in need of repair and replacement; and what percentage of the total mileage this represents in each case.
§ Mr. John Patten
North-west water estimates the total length of sewers in the region to be approximately 30,000 km. The proportion of these built before 1900 or before 1914 is not known; the authority estimated in 1978 that some 5,000 km, or 17 per cent. of its sewers were built before 1880.
It should be stressed that the age of a particular sewer has been found, in most cases, to provide little guidance as to its condition or to the likelihood of its failure within any given period. Information on the condition of sewers is a matter for the authority and is not kept centrally.
The authority has provisionally identified some 570 km (about 2 per cent.) of sewers as requiring replacement, renovation or reinforcement within the next three years.