Work has started on a £9.6m scheme to pump more water into the county and take pressure of drought-hit Pitsford reservoir.
Anglian Water is laying water main pipes in fields between Wollaston Road and Farndish Road in Irchester.
It comes after a dry spring and summer in 2011 left Pitsford just over half full. Anglian Water subsequently launched a campaign to encourage people to be aware of their water usage, and the approval of a drought permit led to a hosepipe ban earlier this year.
Anglian Water spokesman Antony Innes said: “The laying of the water mains is part of a £9.6m scheme to pump millions of litres of extra water a day into Northamptonshire from our reservoir and treatment works at Grafham in Cambridgeshire. Initially, the project was designed to take pressure off Pitsford, which was very low following two dry winters. However, exceptionally heavy rainfall in April helped levels in the reservoir return to normal.”
The land between Wollaston Road and Farndish Road had previously been subject to a plan for new homes on the site that was overturned in 2010 after the Save Irchester Countryside campaign group highlighted the historic value of the site. This area to the south of Woodlands Road is a possible historical burial site that dates from 500,000BC and is recorded as a Northamptonshire monument and can be protected by the Crown.
The campaign group has praised Anglian Water for the preparation work it carried out in order to ensure no damage is done to the land.