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£4.7m sewer work will tackle flooding

PUBLISHED: 01:02 08 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:33 03 July 2010

ANGLIAN water has announced a package of work worth £4.7m to improve the sewers in Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth.

The massive investment comes after the area was devastated by flooding in September 2006 when six months of rain fell in just a few hours flooding thousands of homes and businesses across the borough.

ANGLIAN water has announced a package of work worth £4.7m to improve the sewers in Northgate Street, Great Yarmouth.

The massive investment comes after the area was devastated by flooding in September 2006 when six months of rain fell in just a few hours flooding thousands of homes and businesses across the borough.

The scheme will see sewer capacity trebled and includes a new pumping station and storage tank.

Northgate Street was flooded several times during the summer of 2006 - but was hit worst in September when parts of the road were flooded by about three feet of water.

The Victorian sewer system was unable to cope with the deluge and since the rain storms Anglian Water has already spent £3m relining sewers across the town and upgrading the Garrison Road pumping station.

The works, which will start sometime next month and finish in March 2009, will see a pumping station installed in a car park outside Northgate St Andrews Infant School, opposite Beaconsfield Road, with an underground storage tank that will hold up to 850 cubic metres of water.

The new sewer, to be installed with tunnel machinery, will measure 1.5m in diameter, a massive improvement on the current size of 350mm sewer, and run along Northgate Street for almost a kilometre.

It will start from the junction with Ormond Road and run about 440m up Northgate Street and discharge into the new storage tank. From the tank the sewer will continue a further 490m up Northgate Street across Lawn Avenue and head down Tar Works Road to discharge at the existing New Tar Works pumping station.

Andrew Mackintosh, director of communications at Anglian Water, said he was delighted work would soon be starting following months of investigations and detailed computer modelling.

Mr Mackintosh said the company was trying to keep disruption to a minimum by using a tunnelling technique to install the new sewer. He said: “Three shafts will be dug down at points along Northgate Street and the tunnelling machine is put down the shafts. It is more expensive but less disruptive as we do not have to dig up the road.”

Anglian Water says it has invested more money in Yarmouth than anywhere else in the region since the early 1980s.

Mr Mackintosh said the company had spent more than £100,000m in Yarmouth improving the flow and quality of water. He added this scheme is probably the largest Anglian Water has carried out for 10 years.

All access to shops and homes will be maintained but the road will be closed while work is being carried for safety reasons. Official diversions will be in place and more information on these will be available nearer the time.

Paul Gibbs, director of wastewater operations, said the new sewers are designed to withstand a one in 90 year storm, compared to the present design standard which is a one in 30 year storm.

Yarmouth MP Tony Wright said it was fantastic news for Yarmouth adding the scheme should relieve any danger of flooding.

He said: “You can never say never, but putting in a bigger sewer will certainly help. This is a big investment and while many people will say it should have happened before, it is quite clear Anglian Water has been working on this for some time.

“There will be a lot of trouble over the next six months but I would rather have six months of traffic problems rather than one day of heavy rain.”

Mr Wright added another important issue he will be focusing on is insurance policies for people living in the area.

“I will be encouraging companies to reduce excess costs for customers in light of this work.”

Alexander Cowie, of the Northgate Community Association, said the news would come as a relief and comfort to residents.

He said: “This will increase people's confidence because I have heard of people wanting to move out of the area because they are worried every time we have heavy rain.”

Mr Cowie, of Northgate Street, was flooded in 2006 but says he was fortunate to have just an inch of water flood his bathroom.

“I know some people had two or three feet of water in their properties. People have also been upset about their insurance policies going up but we are hoping this will be addressed.”

Jan Davies, emergency planning manager at the borough council, welcomed the improvements saying they would greatly relieve the possibility of flash flooding in that area.

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