February 2011 -

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South West Water invest in the regions sewer and drinking water facilities

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

South West water has pledged to spend £159m over the next couple of years to upgrade water and sewerage systems in the region. The spend is part of the water company’s commitment to spend over £700m by 2015. Some of the things South West water hope to achieve include: • Expand their WaterCare programme • Help customers using the £1m FreshStart fund • Restore 500 hectares of wetland on Exmoor and Dartmoor • Open a new reservoir near Bodmin moor • Spend £10m on the repair and upgrade of sewer systems across the region • Spend £14m improving drinking water quality South West Water published their domestic and commercial charges on Friday, with an estimated 20,000 customers reducing the amount they pay by switching to a water meter this year. Chris Loughlin the chief executive stated: "We will be making a huge £159 million investment in the infrastructure and economy of our region when many other organisations will be reducing their spend. I am sure that will come as good news to hundreds of our suppliers and the thousands who work for them. "Our investment over the last 20 years has helped underpin the South West economy while protecting its environment. We will keep doing that but in new ways such as our pioneering Upstream Thinking programme to restore wetlands. This will lessen the need to build more costly treatment plants by naturally purifying raw water long before it reaches us. "We also know some customers do have problems paying their bills. That's why we are offering water-saving packs to all our customers this year and using local Citizens Advice Bureaux and debt advisors across the region to get help to those in most need under our £1million FreshStart scheme. "Our much-praised WaterCare scheme has already helped thousands and we will be expanding it to offer free energy audits and grants advice as well as water-saving devices, benefit and

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Stock Green sewer works stop for marathon

Sunday, February 27th, 2011

Severn Trent water is continuing work in Stock Green to connect the town to the public sewer network. Previously, residents in the town had to make use of septic tanks and cess pits as a method to collect their sewerage. Earls Common Road will however reopen for one day only so the Droitwich half marathon can take place on the 6th of March. Severn Trent are working with their partner Morgan Sindall plc on the project, who are constricting the new sewer system in two parts. The first section of sewer was started in November 2010, with a rising main that was eventually connected to Priest Green Waste Water Treatment works. The second part of the works sees a vacuum sewer installation throughout the town. Earls Common Road has been closed since the beginning of January to allow the vacuum sewer to be connected throughout the town, and isn’t expected to reopen until at least the end of April, except of course for the marathon runners next weekend.

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Thames tunnel ‘super sewer’ plans may change

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

Opposition to the proposed ‘super sewer’ in London has prompted Thames Water to think about revising the route of the sewer system. Public concern about using a site at King’s Stairs Gardens has meant that Thames Water have unveiled new plans to instead alter the course of the sewer slightly and use land at Chambers Wharf in Bermonsey. If the sewer gets the go-ahead it will cost £3.6bn to construct and will run the 20 miles from west to east London. Currently, at times of heavy rainfall, sewage is directed directly into the River Thames. However, when complete, the ‘super sewer’ will take this excess water away to be treated at local sewage treatment works. Thames Water head of London tideway Tunnels stated they had just purchased the land at Chambers Wharf, he said:

"I must stress that this does not mean we will definitely use it or that we have discounted King's Stairs Gardens, "When Chambers Wharf came up for sale we had to act quickly to ensure we could consider the land in detail as a potential site. It is vital that we keep our options open. "There is still a lot more work to be done, including further discussions with local communities, before we make any final decisions about the construction sites we need."
The planning application is due to be submitted in 2012.

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London drainage problems and solutions

Friday, February 25th, 2011

Living in a large city like London has its inherent problems. And one of the problems that homeowners and business owners face on a daily basis is drain blockages. Drain blockages can occur at any time and without any warning, which it is why it is so important to have the phone number of a reliable drain maintenance company to hand. Drainage companies in London have all the tools and experience necessary to cope with a host of different drainage issues. They are available 24/7 and can unblock drains, repair drains and can even offer you a maintenance contract so you won’t have to worry about any further blockages. Many business owners chose to have a drain maintenance contract in place, because if a drain is blocked on their premises, they will need to make sure that it returned to its full working potential as soon as possible so it doesn’t impact on the working day. Most drains can be unblocked by a simple jetting process, which directs a high pressure jet of water down the drainage pipe. The debris causing the blockage is thus removed and the waste can flow freely again.

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United Utilities give community groups in Penrith a helping hand

Thursday, February 24th, 2011

The £1.9m sewer and drain maintenance works in Penrith are now well underway. And as a bonus to those people affected by the works in the town, United Utilities have set up a £5,000 funding scheme, which will offer small grants to community groups. The funds will be available to voluntary groups, self-help groups, community groups and those charities who make Penrith a better place to live. The Grants, worth £500 each, will be jointly administered by Eden District Council. Caroline Brumwell, who is the project co-ordinator for the works stated:

"We need to do this work to help improve water quality in streams like Myers Beck and Thacka Beck. This means installing some large structures very deep under the roadway. There is no way to do this without causing some upheaval but we are working with local businesses and residents to minimise disruption where we can. "That's one of the reasons we wanted to establish this fund. To say thanks, and to put something back into the communities where we are working."
People can make applications to the Penrith United Utilities Community Fund now.

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Longridges’ sewer system gets an upgrade

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

An £800,000 investment in sewer system in the town of Longridge will mean that homeowners will not have to worry about the flooding they have experienced in the past. The scheme, which has now been completed, has seen over 550 metres of new sewers installed around Eden Gardens to replace the underrated, old sewer pipes. The new pipes mean that homes on Wellbrow Drive, Green Street, Mersey Street and Wheatley Drive should have no more flooding issues. The project co-ordinator, Mark Clinton, stated:

"Since 2010 our engineers have carried out a lot of work on Longridges' sewer system to make it better able to cope with severe storms. "We have upgraded almost half a kilometre of pipes in Eden Gardens so that they can hold much more rain water. "For residents affected by flooding, the improvements will deliver better protection in the future. "The residents have had quite a lot to put up with, but they've been very understanding and co-operative. We really do thank them for their patience with us."
Due to the works, excavation of the roads and pavements on the above roads was necessary. However, United Utilities have agreed with the Highways Agency to inspect the repairs they made after one year, to check the condition of the works.

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River Lune water quality to be improved

Tuesday, February 22nd, 2011

The River Lune in Lancaster is due to have its water quality improved significantly due to a planned project by United Utilities. Before the work, the River Lune used to act as an overflow for storm water at times of heavy rainfall. This meant that the river was contaminated on a regular basis. However, as part of United Utilities promise to spend £3.6bn over the next few years, the amount of storm water that will enter the river will be drastically reduced. The co-ordinator on the project, John Byron, stated:

"The scheme will clean-up and improve the existing discharges into the River Lune, providing important long term environmental benefits. "We plan to increase underground storage capacity at our existing Scale Hall Wastewater pumping station, construct a new sewer beneath Lune Street, and build a new pumping station at Ramparts. "The sewer overflows act like huge safety valves, releasing the excess water through the overflows to watercourses. They are important mechanisms to prevent flooding of roads and homes."
Planning permission for the scheme has not yet been granted, but when it is, work is expected to commence in August. Mr Byron further stated:
"We are committed to reducing pollution and improving river quality across the north west of England."

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Sewer improvements in Haltwhistle

Monday, February 21st, 2011

A sewer improvement scheme has just got underway in Haltwhistle to prevent sewer flooding in the area. Northumbrian Water started the scheme on the 14th of February, which will see them replace over 135 metres of sewer pipe in the Park Avenue and Park Road area of the town. The work will cost the water company in excess of £300,000 and should stop homes being flooded. Northumbrian water project manager Danny Coyne stated:

“We appreciate the distress that flooding causes customers. Over the next five years we intend to invest more than £120million to reduce this risk.”
Traffic management is currently in place on the affected roads, with temporary traffic lights in operation on Park Road. It’s hoped all the works will be finished by the end of March, but until then construction traffic will need access to the site and the storage compound on derelict land near Parklands. Local residents have received information about the works taking place and Northumbrian Water have stated that everything will be done to keep disruption to a minimum while drain maintenance engineers carry out the required improvements.

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£2.9m drainage replacement scheme underway by Welsh Water

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Dwr Crymru Welsh Water has just started a scheme to replace the waste water pipes in the Darran Valley. The pipe improvements will improve the water quality in the River Rhymney and Nant Bargoed. The project, which is costing the firm £2.9 million pounds, involves the replacement of 3.6km of pipe between Deri and Bargoed. Most of the work will take place along the Darren Valley Cycle Way, which will be closed while the works are carried out. The work started at the end of January and is expected to take 10 months to complete. The Capital Delivery manager at Welsh Water Martin Kilroy stated:

“We are going to start working at various access points along the cycle trail at the same time so that we can get this work completed as quickly as possible to minimise disruption to local people. We will be putting signs along the cycle trail to let people using it know what we are doing. “We’ve written to all those who will be directly affected by the work, and would like to invite everyone in the community who is interested in hearing about our plans to drop in to our public information event which we are holding at the Deri Community Centre on Friday 21st January 2011 between 4.pm and 6.30pm.”
The works are being carried out by Welsh water partner Morgan Sindall and are part of their commitment to spend £1.3 billion on improvements between 2010 and 2015.

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Broadstairs’ drains blocked by cooking fat

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Southern Water had to act swiftly after a sewer stared to overflow on Victoria Parade in Broadstairs. They sent three tankers from contractor MTS to pump the sewage away on Friday night, after concerned residents phoned the water company when they noticed a strange smell. Drainage engineers worked through the night on the problem, removing tonnes of excess effluent. The problem was found to be a blocked drain which was caused by the build up of cooking fat, which had inadvertently been poured into the drainage system. Victoria Parade and John Street were closed while the works took place, but were reopened at around 8am on Saturday morning. A spokesperson for Southern water stated:

"We are grateful to the customer who reported this leak to us. The leak was caused by a blockage in the main sewer in Victoria Parade. "Our engineers were called and cleared the obstruction, which turned out to be a build-up of fat that had been poured down people's sinks."
Drainage blocked by cooking fats is becoming more of a problem for drain maintenance engineers, and cities such as London are blighted by people putting incorrect items into their drainage system.

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