July 2011 |

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Sewer works on Cuckoo Trail now complete

Saturday, July 30th, 2011

Southern Water has just announced that the popularly walked Cuckoo Trail has reopened after sewer works were completed. The trail was closed in November last year, so the water company could replace a section of sewer which had a number of leaks. The essential works meant sections of the trail were closed to the general public and the firm have had to contend with some severe weather after a couple of heavy snowfalls reduced workflow to a crawl. The project manager from Southern Water, Keith Jeffery, stated:

“We have addressed the problems experienced in this area by undertaking significant works to help reduce the risk of sewage leaks in the future. “During our work we identified very early on the need to balance engineering challenges with the needs of the public.”
The work on the sewer was carried out by one of Southern Water’s drainage contractors who replaced around 1.5km of sewage pipe. Mr Jeffery further stated:
“I would like to thank the users of this popular trail for being so patient and understanding while this work was being carried out. “We knew this was a very popular route for both leisure users as well as commuting cyclists, so getting this work done quickly with minimal disruption has been our top priority.”

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Slough treatment works open to general public

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

The sewage treatment works in Slough are due to open to the public for the first time this summer to show off some of the amazing architecture and educate the general public. There are a dozen open days planned throughout the summer across the Thames Valley and London, which aim to show off some of Thames Water’s most prestigious sites, including Sir Joseph Bazalgettes pumping station at Abbey Mills. The site in Slough treats waste from over 250,000 homes and has recently gained the accolade as the first site in the UK to extract phosphorus from the waste it treats, which can then be used as a fertiliser. The Slough works are open on Saturday the 30th of July between 10am and 4pm. Thames water’s chief operating officer Steve Shine stated:

"We’re the UK's largest water company, providing THE essential service for 14 million customers across London and the Thames Valley, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This is a massive responsibility and we work hard to be good neighbours. "The majority of what we do is out of sight – out of mind. Opening up some of our large operational sites like Slough provides a unique and exciting opportunity for our customers who are curious to know more about what we do, to see it for themselves."

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Crake Valley sewer works receive divine acceptance

Wednesday, July 27th, 2011

Members of the general public rarely make comment on their local sewage treatment works, yet they rely on them on a daily basis. Even when the works are upgraded or additional treatment areas are added, does it rarely make even local the news. One new treatment works which did however feature in the press recently was the new Crake Valley Wastewater Treatment Works – and all because they were blessed by the local vicar. Reverend Canon Gary Wemyss from the St Mary the Virgin Church in Penny Bridge conducted a short ceremony at the treatment works on their opening day on July the 7th. The vicar’s ceremony also included a minute’s silence for remembrance of the London bombings on the same date in 2005. The project manager, Paul Romanko, stated:

"We have done this once before and people liked it so much we thought we'd try it here. They thought it would be a great idea." "There was so much interest while we were building the works, and people were so accommodating, that we wanted to say thanks and show them what we were up to all those months,"
The new facilities took over a year to complete and replace septic tanks in Greenodd and Penny Bridge.

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Glenridding sewer system on display

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

A public exhibition will be held at Glenridding Public Hall on Wednesday the 27th of July to show off the proposed new sewer system. The project which is estimated to be costing Untied Utilities approximately £940,000 will connect 35 houses to the mains sewage system and should be completed before the end of spring 2012. The project co-ordinator Mark Clinton stated:

"We want to build a new public sewer to give homes and businesses who currently deal with their own waste the option of letting us take it away and do it for them, "Our new pipe will connect houses in Greenside Road to the sewer system in central Glenridding so that their waste is taken for full treatment before it is returned clean to the local watercourse. "It will be great news for the environment and hopefully ease the strain on householders as well."
Most of the work will be done away from the public highway in fields near the site, but some disturbance could be caused to residents of Browfield Close and Greenside Road. Members of the public who want to view the plans should visit Glenridding Public Hall between 3pm and 7pm.

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Busy Lizzie ready to tackle the Lee Tunnel

Monday, July 25th, 2011

The name of the huge boring machine which will dig the Lee Tunnel has been chosen, thanks to the children at Newham Primary School. Thames Water announced the winner, Ryan Waters, at a special assembly at the school, and the name he chose – Busy Lizzie. Busy Lizzie will get ‘busy’ at the start of next year to dig the four-mile long tunnel under the borough and her name will be emblazoned across the 120-metre long machine. The tunnel will give some relief to the River Lee, which currently sees around 16 million tonnes of sewage entering it every year when the sewage system can’t cope at times of heavy rainfall. The new tunnel will now take the sewage to the upgraded Beckon sewage works instead of it being released to emergency sewer outflows into the river. The competition received 232 entries from the school which were judged by Councillor Andrew Baikie, Thames Water’s chief executive Martin Baggs, and Lawrence Gosden, head of capital delivery. The school has also been awarded with £5,000 of prize money. Ten year old Ryan stated:

“The boring tunnel machine is massive. Nothing can defeat it. It bores its way through the ground. It works hard. That is why it is called busy. One hundred years ago and fifty, the London sewers were built. Victoria was Queen. Today Elizabeth is Queen. Lizzie comes from Elizabeth. That’s why it’s called Lizzie. “Busy Lizzie is also the pet name of a flower. Flowers smell nice. Sewers stink!”

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Drain assessment using video footage

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

Over the past few decades, drain repair methods have improved beyond comprehension. Where in the past a problem with a faulty drain would have led to the drain being excavated and replaced, there are now a whole host of different solutions drainage companies can use to instigate a drain repair. One of the recently used tools which has proved invaluable for drainage companies is the CCTV survey. Drainage companies are now able to see directly into the drainage system using a small camera which is inserted into the drain. Some companies even have remote controlled robots which can be inserted into the drainage system and then ‘driven’ along the drain to find the problem area. Using CCTV cameras, the drainage company can visually see the problems with the drain so accurate repairs can be made. In the past a drain may have been excavated when it only needed jetting or intrusive roots trimmed. And sometimes whole lengths of drains were excavated to find a problem, when only a section of a few feet would now need to be replaced. Errors like these have now been eradicated and thanks to detailed surveys many of the jobs that would have taken a huge amount of time previously now only take a matter of hours to solve.

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Residents get the chance to see proposed Kilburn sewage works

Tuesday, July 12th, 2011

Residents from Kilburn have been invited to a drop in centre at Horsley Village Hall this afternoon and early evening (Tuesday 12th July), between 4pm and 9pm, to look at Severn Trent’s plans for their new sewage treatment works. The new works, in Lower Kilburn, will be carried out by the company’s drainage contractor MWH and representatives from both companies will be available to answer any questions posed. Residents who show an interest in the project and want to visualise what the completed works will be like will have the chance to visit Ripley Sewage Treatment works which use a similar way of processing the waste. The work will take around two years to complete and will mostly take place within the confines of the Severn Trent site. The programme manager for Severn Trent stated:

“We want to be a better neighbour. The new treatment process will help accommodate the expanding community as well as help reduce the fly and odour concerns highlighted by some local residents. “To minimise disruption, we will be leasing an adjacent field for the site set up and to store materials from the old treatment works for reuse. This will keep traffic movements to a minimum and reduce the carbon footprint of the new treatment works. We will also make sure to wash the wheels of our construction vehicles and periodically sweep Tants Meadow to keep the area tidy. “We will also be widening Tants Meadow between our gate and its junction with Derby Road as well as the junction at Tants Meadow and Derby Road to improve access to the treatment works. To do this safely we will need to temporarily close Tants Meadow. This is expected to be for no more than four weeks. “We understand that local residents and businesses may have questions and concerns about the work. At the

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Elterwater storm drain gets first viewing

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

United Utilities has just unveiled their new 700 cubic metre storm water tank in Elterwater in the Lake District. The tank, the size of a swimming pool, has taken six months to complete and is completely hidden from public view, underneath Elterwater’s village car park. The storm water tank will improve the water in Great Langdale beck, as during heavy rainfall storm water will now be held before treatment instead of being directed into Great Langdale Beck. The £2.7m project started in January and is now complete. The project manager, Mark Graham, stated:

"It's been a major engineering feat but the most amazing thing to me, looking at Elterwater now, is that you wouldn't know it was there. The car park will be restored this week and, apart from some small bits of landscaping, we will be gone by the school holidays to let the tank do its job," "The new tank should reduce spills to less than once a year and has been designed to meet tough new standards set by the Environment Agency."
The company have made great efforts during the construction process to not spoil the appeal of the village and as part of the building work have used stone to build new walls, patch up roads and build a new bus shelter.

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How to minimise the risk of drain blockages and flooding

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

In a capital city such as London where there are so many people living and working in one place there is bound to be capacity problems every now and then with regards to the sewage system. However, this inevitability should not prevent you from making some lifestyle changes that help to reduce the risk of this happening. Instead of having to pay out for expensive drain maintenance and emergency repair work when the blocked pipes cause flooding in your home or office, you need to consider what you can do to ensure the drains are able to flow effectively. The lack of responsibility by people for the things they flush down the toilet or sink is what allows for the build-up of debris within pipes and the overall sewage system of the area. You can play a big part in this by not disposing of anything other than human waste and toilet paper down the toilet as everyday items like nappies can add to the issue. Check your drains on a regular basis to make sure that they are working effectively and that there is no current blockages. Performing basic drain maintenance can mean that these risks are greatly reduced. However, if you do ever notice any wastewater flooding, then you had better call in a reputable drain cleaning company for assistance.

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The importance of maintaining an effective sewer system

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Whether you live in a big city like London or out in the countryside, it is still necessary to have wastewater treatment facilities in your area and a sewerage system that works, so that the health of members of the public is not adversely affected. The environment is of major concern to the government and so there is high regulation nowadays as to ensuring the smooth flow of the drains. The activities of water companies and professional drain maintenance contractors means that the standards set are being met. The Environment Agency has set out guidelines as to who is responsible for what with regards to drainage and so, if your home or business premises have been flooded with wastewater then it is advisable to speak to the professionals on how to proceed. Any sewer issues on the street are usually covered by the water company but in and around your property boundaries is something which you may be liable for. This means that in order to solve the problem and remove this foul-smelling wastewater from the building, you may need to call for a trained technician. The drain repair team will not only sort out the current issue, but will work to stop this from happening again and help to keep the sewer system from flowing as it should.

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