September 2011 -

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Crossness sewage works don’t upset baby barn owls

Thursday, September 29th, 2011

Thames Water’s nature reserve at Crossness in east London is welcoming its newest residents, two baby barn owls, aptly named Plop and Flo. The two new arrivals were ringed by experts who are pleased with the pair’s progress. The last time Crossness saw Barn Owls breed was in 2007, so the major expansion of the site doesn’t seen to have put them off. Crossness is one of the largest sewage works in Western Europe and has seen barn owls breeding since 2005. The latest upgrades at the site include the treatment capacity being boosted by nearly half again, to cope with the amount of raw sewage which flows into the Thames though overflow outlets at times of heavy rainfall. As well as the site’s increase in size, a wind turbine is also going to be installed, which will be able to power 1,000 homes. New reed beds are also being planted and it’s hoped that the works will be completed with the site running at full capacity sometime in 2014. The manager of Crossness nature reserve, Karen Sutton stated:

"Fortunately the major upgrade work under way here has not put off our breeding barn owls. We put a number of new boxes up around the site to encourage them to set up home. Not only have the barn owls made themselves at home in the lower section of one box, but a family of kestrels have also set up home upstairs."

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New sewer in Bournemouth to be completed the beginning of October

Monday, September 26th, 2011

A new sewer is being constructed in Bournmouth in an attempt to stop flooding in the locality. A new culvert sewer is currently being installed on Priestly Road, which should be able to cope at times of heavy rainfall, something the previous surface water sewer failed to do. Because the surface water sewer could not cope with the excess water, it occasionally led to properties on Columbia Road flooding. The project began at the beginning of May. Joe Edmunds, the scheme project manager, stated:

"Councillors found the site visit useful as they were able to learn more about how the scheme will protect properties in the area. "This is a major scheme to undertake and has involved large equipment being brought to site. We had to close Priestley Road for the works to be completed. "The new culvert sewer will not only protect existing homes in the area from flooding but also future developments constructed on Columbia Road. We would like to thank residents for their continued understanding and support throughout these works."
It’s hoped that all the work will be complete at the beginning of October.

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Work continues on Barnstable’s sewer system

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

The South West town of Barnstable is getting a new sewer system this autumn as South West Water is investing £135,000 replacing 402 metres of sewer pipe. The sewer replacement scheme is just one part of a £42m investment in the area by the water company. The sewer’s due to be replaced or lined have already been assessed as the most likely to cause problems in the near future. Work commenced on the 12th of September and is due to be completed mid way through October. The sewers will either be relined or replaced, depending on their condition. Most of the work on the sewers has been planned to take place at night to avoid problems in the town. Stephen Cross, the project manager, stated:

"This is a real investment in Barnstaple. Without this necessary work, the sewer network will continue to deteriorate. That can lead to collapses - which cause pollution, flooding and odour. "We will be working hard to minimise disruption to the public and businesses as far as possible while completing these essential works - including working overnight in the town centre. In total South West Water maintain over 9,200km of sewer pipes in the region and operate over 630 sewage treatment works."

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Major sewage works in the Rhondda Valley

Saturday, September 24th, 2011

The Rhondda Valley, in Wales, is about to get a significant investment in its waste water network after Dwr Cymru Welsh Water announced that they are going to spend over one million pounds in Porth, Treherbert and Ferndale and Maerdy. The main sewer network is going to be upgraded in each of these towns, with schemes in most areas already underway. Work started on the 19th of September in Treherbert, replacing the sewer which runs alongside the River Fawr. The work is estimated to be completed at the end of October. The Porth scheme started at the beginning of September and is expected to be completed mid October. The scheme involves excavation on South Street, Ynyshir Road and Railway Terrace. The work in Ferndale and Maerdy started mid month and is expected to take 30 weeks to complete. It involves excavating the old railway line from Avon Street in Ferndale to Maerdy. The capital delivery manager for Welsh Water, Martin Kilroy, stated:

“These schemes are part of a £2 million investment programme that will see us completely renew the main sewer serving the Rhondda Valley. “We’ve written to everyone in the localities of these schemes to explain what we’re going to be doing, and apologise for the inconvenience that construction work inevitably brings. For our part, we’ll do our best to get the job done and get out of the areas with the least possible fuss, and we hope that everyone will bear with us whilst we’re doing this work. The new sewer network will benefit these communities for years to come.”

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Milford-On-Sea drainage works on show

Thursday, September 22nd, 2011

A drop-in session is being hosted today at the Milford-On-Sea community centre so people can see the improvements that Southern Water are going to make to stop flooding and pollution in the region. The session will take place between 2pm and 6pm, and members from the Southern Water team will be on hand to answer any questions posed. There will be around £1.6m spent on improvements in the Hampshire village over the next year or so, most of which will prevent flooding at times of heavy rainfall when the sewers can no longer cope with the amount of water. The main roads affected by the flooding are Island View gardens and Sea Road. When the work starts, a large water holding tank will be installed in the field alongside Keyhaven Road. This tank will hold the excess rainwater until it is pumped from the tank when the rain passes. It’s hoped that the work will be completed by the spring 2012. Dennis Taplin, contracts engineer at Southern Water stated:

“We’re committed to reducing the flood and pollution risk in Milton-on-Sea and I’m delighted our regulator Ofwat has given us permission to start work. “I hope as many people as possible visit our drop-in day to find out about the benefits of the scheme and how it will affect them.”

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Finding roots and viewing images

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

One of the most common blockages that drain cleaning companies in London find is caused by the infiltration of roots into the pipe network. Roots work there way into the pipe network through the small cracks in the pipe’s structure. And once they find an easy source of water they quickly multiply, blocking the drain. Root intrusion into a drainage system couldn’t happen if the pipe was not damaged or defective in any way. The pipe needs to be in good working order and have no cracks or disturbance to work effectively all the time. If a pipe does have cracks, not only does the chance of further damage increase, contamination from the water can enter the surrounding environment. In the worst cases, the water can wash away the soil around the pipe, which can lead to subsidence and further drainage pipe damage. The drainage engineers in London can usually tell if root intrusion is the cause of a drainage blockage. They can insert a CCTV camera into the drain, which travels along the drain length relaying images to the engineer on the surface. The images can then be used to produce a report on the overall condition of the pipe and hence make the necessary recommendations to solve the drainage problem.

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Sewer works set to start in Buxton

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Severn Trent Water has just started work in the town of Buxton to renew around 3km of Victorian sewerage pipe. The work will involve digging up sections of the road network around the town. Residential and commercial establishments are being asked to be patient while the works are completed. The £1.7m project will dramatically reduce the frequency of sewer blockages in the town and will hence reduce the risk of flooding and improve the overall function of the town’s sewer network. The work is expected to take around five months to complete. And in readiness for the work’s commencement, Severn Trent have already been improving access to manhole covers to allow the works to be completed with minimal disruption. The programme manager for Severn Trent, Michael Burden, stated:

“This is one of the most extensive and complex sewerage flooding solutions to be undertaken by Severn Trent and NMCNomenca. Our team have been conducting some preliminary work over the last two months to improve manhole access and allow the main rehabilitation works to progress smoothly. The work will take around 5 months to complete. “Due to its nature, sewerage renewal work can, at times, be disruptive. We will try to keep disruption to a minimum throughout the duration of the work because we understand that Buxton town centre is a very popular and busy place. We have taken steps to make sure we keep any potential impact upon the community and local businesses to a minimum.”

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Unseen reservoir in Ipswich gets a makeover

Sunday, September 18th, 2011

Work to renovate an underground reservoir in Ipswich is due to commence at the end of September. The reservoir was originally built in 1902 and is buried deep beneath an earth bank. It stores water which is then pumped into Ipswich, from where it is used by homes and businesses. The reservoir has been in need of a general check and clean for some time, so the work should restore it to its former glory. The project manager on the job, Matt Humphrey, stated:

“The reservoir is an amazing piece of construction. From the outside it just looks like a large, grassy bank but underneath is a huge concrete tank. “It’s a massive space, supported by rounded steel columns, and holding 21 million litres of water. We have had a look around inside using a remote camera but we can’t wait to actually get inside and have a look around for ourselves.”
The reservoir will be drained on the 19th of September after the 6,000 tonnes of topsoil have been removed from above the tank. The reservoir will then be thoroughly cleaned and checked, when access is gained, and any signs of damage will be repaired. Water and drainage company Anglian Water will be carrying out the works.

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Langwathby river water quality set to improve

Saturday, September 17th, 2011

United Utilities have felled more than 30 non-native Leylandii trees, which will be replaced with native species, as part of the work they are currently undertaking in Langwathby. The trees were out of place in the rural setting and are commonly only found in gardens in the UK. The felled trees will allow access to the village sewer works, where a huge water improvement programme is currently underway. Paul Wheadon, the project co-ordinator on the site, stated:

"The trees were planted many years ago but were not the best choice for the rural situation. Leylandii are normally found in gardens so they looked unnatural in a rural setting. The project gives us the opportunity to replace them with more sustainable native species which will help the works blend into the landscape,"
£6.7 million is being spent on the project to improve the water quality in the River Eden and Briggle Beck over the next few months and the tree felling is just a part of this. Other work on the scheme involves sewage works at Skirwith and Winskill being transformed into pumping stations and a new 5km pipeline being laid. Mr Wheadon continued:
"We are now building a new outfall to the River Eden where the cleaned and treated wastewater will be returned to the river. This work needs to be done before the end of September so we don't affect the fish migration and spawning season,"

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Keswick sewer works to get underway

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

Sewer works in the Cumbrian town of Keswick are finally about to get underway. The sewer improvements include a new pumping station next to the river Greta in Rawnsley Hall car park. This will replace the town’s existing pumping station, which is currently located in Greta Grove. Currently the town sees a degree of sewer flooding, which does affect some resident’s properties. Simon Povey, the project manager on the job, said that there was a lot of work to get through. He stated:

“As well as working in the car park, the coming weeks will also see some work under Keswick streets. We've talked to a lot of people about the best way to do this and now have a programme that avoids the run-up to Christmas and a number of important local events. “There's never going to be a good time to do work like this in a popular town like Keswick, but by liaising with as many people as possible, we have done our best to ease the strain.”
Local people are being encouraged to drop in to one of the firm’s coffee mornings, where they can find out more about the work being undertaken. The coffee mornings will take place on every other Tuesday in the Quaker Meeting House from 10:30am until midday, starting on the 20th of September.

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