September 2012 -

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Hastings waste water treatment works nearing completion

Sunday, September 30th, 2012

A huge project being undertaken by Southern Water to make a Hastings treatment works more environmentally friendly is nearly complete. Work on the Westfield treatment works is nearing completion after nearly £2.7m has been spent on the upgrade. The main works have been done and the firm is now commissioning all the equipment to make sure it works properly before it is allowed to work in anger. Two large sand filters have been installed at the site which give the waste water a final polish before it is released into the environment, these each contain around 50 tonnes of sand. The site upgrade also sees new water quality monitors installed to check that the treated water meets new Environment Agency regulations. The project manager on the scheme Julie Anne Stokes said:

“We’re delighted to be reaching the end of this important scheme. By using specialist treatment methods we can ensure the water recycled back to the environment continues to meet stringent standards.”
Southern Water are currently half way through a £1.8bn improvement programme which they hope will improve clean water supply and sewerage services across the region.

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The bane of the drainage expert – household fat

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Drainage experts have to deal with all types of drain blockages on a daily basis, but perhaps the most frustrating blockages, and the ones which could easily be avoided, are caused by household fat. Waste water companies spend tens of thousands of pounds every year trying to educate the general public regarding what can and what can’t be disposed of down their drains – and the focus of these information sheets or campaigns all hinges around household fat. Some of the current campaigns being conducted by waste water companies across the country include: • United Utilities - What not to flush • Yorkshire Water - Are you doing the dirty? • Thames Water - Bin it don’t block it • Wessex Water - Bag it & Bin it The four waste water companies above have detailed instructions on their respective websites about what to do with waste fat, and often publicise their campaigns to try to stop people pouring waste fat into their drains, a thing which although common throughout the year is especially troublesome in the autumn and winter months. The waste water companies’ hard stats show a shocking tale of homeowner neglect. Yorkshire Water’s website quotes that 37% of all blockages are down to the homeowner putting incorrect items down their toilet or sink, whereas Thames Water’s website claims that they have to attend 55,000 blockages every year across their supply area that were caused by unsuitable products being washed down the drain. How to dispose of used cooking fat If you have used cooking fat that needs to be disposed of you must never pour it down the kitchen sink. Solidified fat is one of the biggest causes of sewer blockage in the UK. When warm or hot fat is poured down a drain it quickly cools and solidifies. This may not initially cause a blockage, but after repeated pouring of

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Headington residents hand letter of concern to Thames Water

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

Residents are concerned at the lack of action from drainage company Thames Water after their homes in Headington suffered problems due to sewage leaks and water bursts. Councillors from Headington handed Thames Water officials a nine page list of problems at an emergency meeting last Monday. The meeting was held after over 2,000 people in the area had their water supplies cut off due to a mains leak. Centres which lost water for around four hours included the Churchill Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre. Residents have also complained about recent sewage leaks around the St Andrew’s Road area. Councillor Ruth Wilkinson said:

“I raised issues to do with sewage flooding in Old Headington and also in the Old Road area. “The area has sewers which are Victorian. I have asked him to find out how much more development Headington can take. When we get big development in Headington we want to be sure the infrastructure can support it.”
The document which was handed to Thames Water detailed every leak in Headington which had been reported to Councillor Wilkinson since 2005. The waste water company has promised to look at the document before responding. Councillor Wilkinson commented:
“When these problems occur Thames Water is quite good at tackling them and they were very quick at fixing it the last time there was a leak in Headington. “But we need to make sure the service is proactive rather than reactive.”

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New sewer pipes for Tilehurst residents

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

Thames Water hopes that sewer flooding which has blighted homes in Tilehurst will soon be a thing of the past after they announced they were nearly finished upgrading the size of sewer pipes in Hilden’s Drive, City Road, Longworth Avenue and Foxcombe Drive. Homes in the above roads suffered at times of heavy rainfall as the sewer system simply could not cope. However thanks to a high-tech boring machine and the installation of new sewer pipes the project has been brought in three month ahead of schedule. The larger sewer pipes are now in situ and it’s only the resurfacing work which has to be done to complete the job. The programme delivery manager for Thames Water, Peter Taylor said:

"We’re really grateful for the residents’ patience while we did this work. We’d like to thank them for their understanding and are sorry for any inconvenience caused by the road closure. "Sewer flooding is utterly horrid and has no place in the 21st century and we’re pleased to have put in place a solution to help stop this from happening again."

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