May 2012 |

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King Edward Memorial Park campaigners disappointed with super sewer decision

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

In another blow to Thames Water’s plans for their 20-mile super sewer, the Save King Edward Memorial Park (SaveKEMP) campaign have released a statement in which they say the waste water company have “shown utter disregard for our community.” Thames Water hopes that the building of a new sewer, roughly following the path of the River Thames, will take away overflowing sewerage which would otherwise end up in the river. The statement from SaveKEMP comes after Thames Water said that the original 24 proposed development sites would not change. In terms of the King Edward memorial park this means that the land will be used by Thames Water while they connect the North East Relief Combined Sewer Overflow to the new tunnel. Construction works will also be situated in the park for the building of the tunnel itself while the works take place. Explaining the SaveKEMP position to East London Lines, the Vice Chair and campaign coordinator Emma Dunsire said that the group are not averse to the tunnel being built, but think the construction site choices have been very poor. Emma said:

“Worst case scenario, we know that something has to be done in this area, and we’d rather put up with a bit more disruption, as long as the park is left alone.”
Thames Water spokesperson Nick Tennant responded to the concerns in East London Lines:
“The park will be saved, and the park will stay open. We think we can leave the park a better place and leave improvements behind us. That’s not to say there won’t be disruption, but the park will not close and we believe we can make improvements as a result of us doing this work.”

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Thames super sewer encounters more opposition

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Thames Water has been slammed by Hammersmith and Fulham Council for their plans to press ahead with the Thames super sewer. The twenty mile long sewer is needed to stop waste water flowing into the River Thames at times of heavy rainfall. The council says the scheme will disrupt land earmarked for a new housing development. The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has called for an independent review of the project after concerns were raised from public groups. Hammersmith and Fulham council say that they have received a number of complaints about the use of Fulham Riverside as part of the project. Residents don’t want the sewer excavation work to swallow up land which had been assigned for new houses and jobs. The Hammersmith and Fulham council deputy leader Nick Botterill said:

“The super sewer is a prime example of the failure of sustainable water management in the UK. Instead of capturing the fresh rainwater and using it productively, Thames Water is allowing it to flow into the sewer network where it mixes with sewage causing problems for the River Thames. Thames Water's solution is to charge customers £100 a year extra forever to raise billions of pounds to dig a massive concrete pipe. This massive sewer will divert the combined rainwater and sewage 20 odd miles to east London - only for it to be treated and put back into the river.”
A spokesperson for Thames Water commented:
“We've got to put in place a sewer system fit for purpose. It isn't at the moment. From the recent consultation feedback we had we were instructed to use brownfield land and to use the river as much as we can which made the Carnwath site suitable.”
The head of London Tideway Tunnels at Thames water Phil Stride said that the company had
“worked extremely hard to consult people

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Sewer work in Woking to continue for a further two months

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Thames Water has said that sewer work on Monument Road in Woking will continue for at least another 10 weeks. Sewer engineers have been trying to repair a section of sewer in Monument Road since the beginning of April, but due to the tangle of other utility services around the sewer have struggled to complete the job in their allotted time frame. And, in another twist, a further section of 17 metres of damaged pipe has been found, which will need to have a drain liner fitted. This additional work was not expected and will be a difficult job to undertake. Thames Water have said that they didn’t want to finish their current work and then be called back to the damaged section of pipe at a later date, so whilst the road works were already in place have asked for the necessary time extension. A spokesperson for Thames Water stated:

“When we discovered the issues with the pipe, we wanted to make sure we fixed them there and then. “We’ve extended our working hours to 7 days a week to get this issue resolved with as little disruption to residents as possible. “We understand that this is frustrating for our customers, but the last thing we’d want to do is come back in six months time to dig up the road again. We want to complete the work as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

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Sewer work in Botley nears completion

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Work on a major sewer upgrade in Botley is nearly complete, says Thames Water. The work has been undertaken to help reduce the chances of flooding in the locality and started in October 2011. Sewer engineers are happy with the progress of the work and hope when the work is complete that the miserable conditions which 36 homes have had to cope with over the last five years will be eliminated. The final phase of the work includes resurfacing in North Hinksey village and completion of the two mile sewer run. The head of programme delivery at Thames Water, Andrew Popple said:

“It is essential we get this work done for the long-term benefit of Botley but we do appreciate it has been disruptive. We are asking people to bear with us while we enter the final phases of the work. “The next phase will be to do the resurfacing work that needs to be done in North Hinksey village.”
When the work is completed on in North Hinksey village the drainage engineers will turn their attention to the 300 metres of sewer pipework which is left to lay. The £7m scheme, which includes the upscaling of various sewers, is expected to be completed by September.

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Sewer overflows in Chalk Hill due to heavy rainfall

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

People in Chalk Hill, Watford, have encountered a messy problem over the last few weeks. Sewer flooding, because of heavy rainfall, has meant that raw sewage has been flowing from a manhole cover. The heavy rainfall seen in the area over the last two weeks has seen a manhole cover in Bushey Arches leak raw sewage across the road, creating a hazard for local residents and shop owners. The problem was attended to promptly by Thames Water, who sent a tanker equipped with pumping equipment to remove the excess sewage. One of the local shop owners spoke in the Watford Observer, he said:

"There are two manholes and when it rains, sewage comes out of one and is washed down the road by water from the other. Then the cars spread it all around. "At 7am a tanker was parked with a man asleep in it, blocking the road and causing gridlock in the town. They eventually started pumping the water out. "Pedestrians trying to cross the road were having to dodge traffic and paddle through raw sewage. "The infrastructure is 100 years old and when the flats around the corner are finished there will be 50 more toilets being flushed into the sewers."
When drains overflow, sometimes the old sewage infrastructure is at fault and sometimes overflowing sewage is caused by drainage pipe blockages, which need to be removed for the drains to work correctly again.

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What can a drainage company do for you?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

If you are a homeowner, you’ll be familiar with drainage problems, from simple sink blockages where the water doesn’t drain away due to foodstuffs blocking the plughole, to toilet blockages where the water in the pan isn’t taken away when you flush the chain. In most of these situations the homeowner themselves can usually remedy the problem, however when their best attempts fail, it’s usually time to contact the drainage professionals. What services do drainage professionals offer? Drain cleaning professionals offer many services besides regular drain unblocking, some of these include: Drain jetting Drain jetting is the process where a high pressure jet of water is directed down the drain to remove any debris which may have accumulated within the pipe. This could be non-flushable items such as sanitary wear, nappies, contraceptives or even a build up of congealed fat. High pressure water jetting proves extremely useful to drain jetting firms because instead of using physical methods such as rods to remove a clog, which can damage the inside of the pipe, the jet of water washes through the blockage whilst also cleaning the inside of the pipe in the process. CCTV surveys CCTV drainage surveys are a critical part of a drainage professional’s arsenal. In the past a drainage contractor would have to use experience alone to work out what the problem was with a blocked drainage pipe. After the introduction of CCTV survey equipment, images of the inside of the drainage pipe can now be relayed to a computer where a visual analysis of the problem can take place. This means that the number of unnecessary drain excavation jobs has decreased exponentially, as the drainage firm will be able to formulate a plan to remove the problem instead of excavating to see what is happening. Drain liner repair After a drainage company has performed a survey

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MCS applaud beach quality whilst call for sewer overflows to be monitored

Saturday, May 12th, 2012

The latest Good Beach Guide has just been released and a record number of beaches have been given the top award for water quality. In 2011 461 beaches out of a total of 754 beaches were given excellent status; however this year 516 achieved the accolade. The Marine Conservation Society (MCS) has applauded the attempts of local authorities to clean up their act, but also warned that recent heavy rainfall could wash raw sewage from overflow pipes into bathing areas. The results are taken from tests last summer which now show that 68% of beaches in the UK have been given the excellent award. More stringent European water quality rules come into force in 2015, so improvements in standards must still be made by local water authorities. Rachel Wyatt, a costal pollution officer, was quoted as saying on the BBC that the water cpmpanies should not:

"take their collective feet off the pedal of continued environmental improvements" "If that happens we could see a drop in the number of beaches recommended by us in the future, which could pose a risk to the great reputation British beaches have,"
The MCS are also calling for all sewer overflows to be monitored to ascertain accurate records as to find out how often and how much sewage is discharged.

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Sudden hole in road warrants CCTV survey by Thames Water

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Thames Water have carried out a comprehensive CCTV survey of a road in south east London after a huge crater appeared in the road surface. The crater appeared a couple of weeks ago in Stoney Street in Southwark, resulting in a section of the road being cordoned off while investigation works took place. The sudden appearance of the hole was initially put down to a problem with the sewer running directly beneath the road surface, but after Thames Water investigated they found that their sewer was actually intact. Investigators have now claimed that pest damage and subsidence were the most likely reason. The hole was filled with cement and concrete so that the surface could then be tarmaced. A council spokesperson commented after the concrete was laid:

"This will need time to cure," "We will be tarmacing the road at 8am tomorrow [Friday] morning, followed by reinstallation of the road markings, and the road should be open by 11am. "We have signs out advising the public that the concrete is curing."
Most sudden appearances in roads are put down to sewer collapse, and when this happens it can be problematic for residents and road users. However, due to advances in drainage construction and repair, most damaged drains and sewers can now be repaired without the need for excavation.

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Sewer expansion goes ahead in Tilehurst

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

Residents in Tilehurst are celebrating after Thames Water announced that they are going to spend over £1m on a sewer enlargement scheme. The sewer scheme, which will see sewers in City Road, Hildens drive and Foxcombe drive all be replaced with larger diameter pipes, will stop sewage backing up in people’s homes and gardens after heavy rainfall. The scheme has got the backing of local councillor for reading west Alok Sharma. Mr Sharma spoke to local residents about the problems at a drop-in session which took part in early April, he commented:

“Talking to local residents, I know that they recognise the importance of this work to improve the sewer network in Tilehurst. I am pleased that Thames Water is committed to making the sewer network fit for the future.”
The work commenced on the project in January and some diversions have already been put in place. The programme delivery manager from Thames Water Andy Popple said:
"We are hell-bent as a company on putting an end to the misery of sewer flooding. It is utterly vile and has no place in the 21st century. "Work is progressing well on this project and we have already positive feedback from people whose properties flank the newly-laid sewer. "We apologise for the continuing disruption and we ask customers to bear with us while we complete this essential work."

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Sewage leaks into field near River Aldbourne

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012

A Thames Water sewage pumping station has leaked sewage into a dry river bed in Whittonditch. The sewage leaked from the tank early last week and affected a field next to the river Aldbourne near Ramsbury. It isn’t the first time that sewage has leaked from the same pumping station, a similar incident happened four years ago, which resulted in Thames Water being handed a hefty fine by the Environment Agency. The owner of the land onto which the sewage escaped, Sir Martyn Arbib, and his river keeper Edward Starr discovered the damage caused by the leak and immediately informed both the Environment Agency and Thames Water. The field into which the sewage seeped is home to a small herd of Belted Galloway cattle. River keeper Mr Starr was quoted in thisiswiltshire.co.uk as saying that: “I suspect the heavy rain we had on Saturday morning overloaded the pumps and blew the fuses.

“Without the pumps the pressure of the sewage built up until it erupted from a manhole in the field. “There has not been any water in the Aldbourne for months and what you can now see is the sewage that formed a lagoon here on Sunday.”
The pumps were repaired by Thames Water but no fencing was placed around the slurry to prevent the cattle from coming into contact with it. A Thames Water spokesperson said:
“Any pollution incident is deeply regrettable and we are working hard to try and minimise the impact of the sewage spill at Whittonditch. “This was caused by a failure at a pumping station over the weekend, which has now been resolved. “We are working with the Environment Agency to make sure the area is back to normal as soon as possible.”

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