'Mole' used to replace water main near Penshurst

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Domestic water tap
Image caption,
The burst pipe has caused flooding and disruption to residents' water supplies

A "mechanical mole" is to be used in a £176,000 scheme to replace a water main in Kent that has burst 19 times.

South East Water said bursts in the stretch of pipe between Penshurst and Fordcombe had caused flooding and interrupted supplies to residents.

The 4in (100mm) pipe is to be replaced with a 5in (125mm) main from Colliersland Bridge to Springhill Farm.

A series of pits will be dug and a tunnel excavated using the mole for the pipe to be inserted.

'Cause disruption'

The work, expected to begin on 1 November, will last about eight weeks. Spring Hill will be closed to through traffic.

"We understand that this work is going to cause disruption to the local area and for this we are sorry," said spokesman David Brend.

"But we hope that by using this drilling technique we will be able to complete the work quicker than if we had to excavate an open trench."

Traffic will be diverted along Fordcombe Road, Langton Road, the A26 and the B2176.

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