Work on the laying of the “vital” Outwood to Buckland main has been slowed by the recent heavy rain - but water bosses say crews have soldiered on.

The £14 million mains project to lay a 10.5-mile-long strategic water main between Outwood Reservoir and a pumping station near Buckland, started last March. Bosses at Sutton and East Surrey Water estimated the project, causing disruption locally including road closures, overnight works and tunnelling, would take about a year to complete.

But now, 11 months in to the project, the company said the stormy downpours of recent weeks had slowed progress in some areas, although work had continued throughout the scheme. In Buckland, Sutton and East Surrey Water said works in Old Road were progressing well and remained on course to be completed with the road due to be re-opened by next Monday (February 10).

Currently, the road closure and diversionary routing agreed by the Surrey County Council highways team remains in place.

Temporary shafts for the tunnels at the A25 have now been removed, and the crane has left the site.

And Lawrence Lane recently reopened, as works moved on to between Rectory Lane and the Buckland rail-crossing site.

The company said that in Salfords, at the A23 tunnelling site, work was continuing on the connection of pipes within the shafts either side of the road.

Testing of the new main is ongoing in the Outwood area and is currently centred on the motorway bridge at Green Lane, with temporary traffic lights in place there.

A spokesman for Sutton and East Surrey Water said: “Thank you to those who are being affected by these essential works for your continued patience and co-operation.”

Redhill-based Sutton and East Surrey Water has described the laying of the strategic main pipeline as “vital” to help ensure water supplies for existing and future customers throughout its supply area. When complete, the pipeline will run under two railway lines at Buckland and Salfords, and will cross beneath three A roads. Sutton and East Surrey Water stated: “This important project will provide greater flexibility and resilience within Sutton and East Surrey Water’s distribution network, particularly during periods of low rainfall and drought. “It will also provide extra capacity to meet expected growth in customer numbers as the local population increases.” The company has been maintaining local communication, particularly with parish councils, regarding updates to the works, progress and disruption. It has a dedicated project progress page on its website: People who have questions about the project can call the company's customer services team on 01737 772000. Sutton and East Surrey Water supplies water to more than 655,000 people in East Surrey and parts of West Sussex, west Kent and south London.