Thursday, August 25th, 2011
United Utilities are about to reveal plans to protect residents in Warrington from flooding. At times of heavy rainfall, residents in the Westy area of Warrington are always at risk from flooding due to the river Mersey bursting its banks. However, after the flood prevention scheme has been completed, hundreds of homes should no longer be at risk. In conjunction with The Environment Agency and Warrington Borough Council, sewer and drainage company United Utilities are going to increase the height of the River Mersey embankment to provide increased flood defences. There has been a history of flooding in Warrington from the River Mersey over the years, the latest incident being in 2000. A spokesperson from United Utilities commented:
"This proposed flood embankment stands to bring peace of mind to families in Westy living close to the River Mersey. Our plans would see the creation of a grassed embankment, blended as sensitively as possible into the existing landscape. Access will also be maintained to existing riverside footpaths. "The embankment is one piece of a bigger jigsaw to protect homes in Warrington from flooding. We are very pleased that we have an opportunity to play a part in this major project."
Friday, August 19th, 2011
To the delight of environmentalists around the Bristol area, nature officers from Bristol City Council have announced that otters have been seen in and around the city’s floating harbour area. The otter population had been decimated in the region by the 1970s due to pollution in the River Avon and surrounding water courses so the return of the otters is a good sign that water quality is improving. The head of environment and conservation at Wessex Water, Ruth Barden, stated:
"Just over 50 years ago Bristol’s floating harbour was dominated by industry, under little environmental control, polluting the river that was already plagued with untreated sewage. "Through substantial investment we are now in the position where Bristol city centre is one of the most sought after places to live, work and visit, with the river being a focal point of the city. "It is fantastic news that water quality has improved so much so that wildlife is also benefiting."Wessex Water have spent millions of pounds over the years making upgrades to Bristol’s aging sewer system, so contaminated water does not enter the River Avon and associated tributaries. And, it finally looks to have paid dividends.
Wednesday, August 17th, 2011
When drainage companies conduct CCTV surveys of a drain or sewer, they are usually looking for the cause of a blockage, so it came as a bit of a surprise to a CCTV survey operator from Wessex Water when a grass snake appeared on her CCTV images. Drain maintenance workers were cleaning a 67 year old sewer when they came across the reptile in Calne, Wiltshire. It’s thought the snake had most likely ventured into the sewer in search of prey such as toads or frogs. The CCTV and flow surveyor Roz Trotman said:
"It was the first time a snake had ever been seen in our sewers. We were all very shocked to see the footage. "We use CCTV in over 124 miles of our sewerage system and often find creatures such as bats, rats and toads. We will all be on the look out for the snake when we watch any future footage,"Wessex Water is currently in the middle of an improvements programme in the region, where they will be spending approximately £500m over the next few years.
Monday, August 15th, 2011
A scheme to improve the water quality in the River Lune has just been announced by United Utilities. The £6m project will reduce the number of storm overflow outlets into the river in and around the Lancaster area. At times of heavy rainfall, storm water outlets direct rainwater directly into the river when the waste water pipe cannot cope with any more water. When the first stage of the work commences later in the month, a new sewer crossing pipe will be installed at a depth of two metres below the river level. The project manager on the work Dawn Harrington stated:
"This project will help improve the quality of water in the River Lune by making the sewer network even more effective in storm conditions. "The work United Utilities is planning will help upsize the local sewer network in the North and South of the city. The improved sewer network will capture more water in the system, reducing the frequency of overflows."The pollution from the river Lune can affect water quality on the beaches of Morecambe Bay so the improvements should see water quality in the area improve somewhat. It’s hoped the works will also meet strict new EU quality targets which come into force in 2015. As well as the new sewer crossing pipe, drainage engineers will be increasing the size of the sewer network, so it can hold more waste water and cope with the large volume of water during storm conditions.
Thursday, August 11th, 2011
Drainage problems in London are not an uncommon occurrence. The increasing population causes extra strain on the city’s already over worked sewage system, which was only built to deal with half of the waste matter it currently sees. London’s Victorian sewer network is an unseen masterpiece. Built when people took pride in the work they did, the vast network of sewers contains some of the finest architecture London has to offer, but only the select few get to witness. Although the Victorian sewer system is overworked, most of the problems that face London’s residents don’t have to be problems at all. If we all took notice of what the water companies told us with regards to the disposal of waste, we would be able to live without many of the sewer problems that bring the city to a standstill. One of the worst problems, that can be totally avoided, is the disposal of liquid fats into the waste water system. Liquid fat solidifies when it cools and creates a congealed mess that can block even the largest sewer. Only last year Thames Water removed over 1,000 tonnes of fat from the sewers under Leicester Square alone, and all because people don’t give the sewerage system the respect it deserves.
Wednesday, August 10th, 2011
Drain blockages can spell disaster for the homeowner, not only does the waste water cause potential for health issues, the damaging effects of the waste can leave you with a costly repair bill. Most homeowners have a regimen of household maintenance tasks they do on a regular basis, from painting and decorating, to simply cleaning the bathroom or even just vacuuming. However, one part of the home that gets used every day but rarely receives any maintenance is the drainage system that takes the waste water away from your house. Occasionally you might put bleach down your toilet, or you might even pour hot water down the sink once in a while, but rarely does a homeowner check the internal drains themselves to see if there is an accumulation of debris or damage to the pipe. It’s prudent for every homeowner to have a regular drain healthcheck. A drainage company can insert a CCTV camera into a homeowner’s drainage system to look for problems before they worsen. In most cases, the drain will receive a clean bill of health, but if problems are found, they can usually be fixed with the minimum of disruption and fuss; stopping a potential problem before it causes damage to the home.
Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
Gloucestershire Highways agency and Severn Trent are continuing to work in Longlevens to rid the town of smelly drains and sewers. A smelly drain in the region of Church Road has been causing residents problems for months. And after a £10,000 investment, the firms have finally got together to tackle the problem. Paul James, a local councillor, stated:
"I know Severn Trent and Gloucestershire Highways are trying their best and hopefully it won't be too long before the whole business is resolved."The problems seem to have been caused by a large quantity of concrete blocking the drain, so foul water could not run freely. A spokesperson from Severn Trent said:
"Both Severn Trent and the Highways Agency have invested £10,000 to deal with odour problems in the storm water drain running along Church Road. "Highways has removed a large amount of concrete which had been dumped in the drain and was causing blockages. Severn Trent has already carried out extensive work to correct where waste pipes from houses have been wrongly connected to rainwater drains rather than the sewer system."The works carried out do seem to have reduced the odour problem, but Severn Trent is still going to perform a CCTV survey of the sewer network to check all connections. If any more rain water sewers have been connected to the waste water system, Severn Trent have stated they will be repaired also.
Friday, August 5th, 2011
Southern Water has just started new sewerage works in the Southsea area. The new works will see 3km of old sewerage pipes replaced as part of the waste water company’s sewer renovation programme. The work commenced on the 1st of August, with CCTV surveys initially taking place. Replacement of the sewerage pipes will commence in September. Local businesses and residents have been contacted regarding the works and will be kept updated as the works progress. Most work in the area will be done using trenchless technology, so disruption because of excavation will be kept to a minimum. The waste water Infrastructure Project Manager for Southern Water, Lee Hooper, stated:
“We’re delighted to be starting this essential scheme. Our priority is to complete the scheme with as little disruption to the community as possible.”Most of the work will be carried out by drainage contractor Clancy Docwra, who will be working closely with Portsmouth City Council to minimise disruption. Estimations for the time taken to replace the sewer put the work at approximately six months to complete.