New pipes for 2,000 homes.
Plastic water pipes will be installed in the Beacon Lough area of Gateshead, where existing cast iron pipes are almost 80 years old.
The pounds 500,000 improvements will last up to eight months and will safeguard the water supply for future generations, say Northumbrian Water.
Work to replace the 10km of pipes starts today. Kevin Fleming, Northumbrian Water's project manager, said: "Plastic pipe will replace the existing cast iron pipe, which is more durable with a longer life expectancy.
"Some of the pipes have furred up which can restrict the flow and reduce the volume and pressure of water in the pipes.
"By carrying out this work, water quality will be improved and a more robust system will be in place."