‘Catastrophe’ warning as Bradwell waits for an upgrade
PUBLISHED: 14:00 16 January 2016
A promised £2m upgrade of the drainage system in Bradwell can’t come soon enough after heavy rain caused manhole covers to lift and spill raw sewage on to roads and outside a school.
Although no homes were flooded borough councillor Carl Annison said it was only a matter of time before elements combined to cause a catastrophe, and that he was pushing for a date for works to start.
Mr Annison said raw sewage was sent running along Lords Lane and Dorothy Avenue during last Thursday’s downpour and that villagers already familiar with flooding could expect more as new homes were built along the new A12/A143 link road.
The problem had been going on for 30 years he said, but it was taking less rain to trigger flooding and no date had been set for the promised upgrade, first spoken about by Anglia Water over a year ago.
“It is a nightmare,” he said. “The minute it started raining I was waiting for my phone to ring. I have worked in civil engineering all my life and we only need a certain combination of elements like flooding and a power cut and it will be a catastrophe.
“I have no objection to building houses, they do need to be built but there has to be the infrastructure first. Nobody had the inside of their property flooded last week, it was only the highways and outside Hillside school. But it is only a matter of time before it gets into properties again. Every time it rains people get a bit nervous. What they are proposing to do should have been done 10 years ago and definitely before they started building more houses.”
Nik Shelton, Anglian Water spokesperson, said, it was a “large and complex” job that needed more than a “quick fix.”
He said: “We attended an overflowing manhole cover in Lords Lane, Bradwell following very heavy rainfall in the area.
“Increasing drainage capacity in this area is a challenge we are tackling. We have already installed two new pumps at Morton Crescent Pumping Station to make the network more resilient, and we are planning a major £2m upgrade to increase capacity.
“Under normal circumstances our pumping station is able to cope well with drainage in this area – the issues have only occurred during exceptional weather events. We are aware of this problem and that is why we have committed to upgrading the local network.
“The new Persimmon housing development at Bluebell Meadow consists of 850 homes, 150 of which will connect to the Morton Crescent Pumping Station – around 15 have already been connected.
“Currently, our model predicts that the 150 new properties would result in less than a 1pc increase in volume of waste water going into the network. This is mainly because the existing problem is related to wet weather and the new development will deal with its rain water flows within the site.
“The remaining 700 homes will connect to an entirely different part of the network to the East.”
He added: “We don’t have a timescale yet. It’s a large and complex job. We are in the planning phase and we hope to be able to put dates on it very soon. We recognise the problems in this area and we need to ensure that we plan properly and carry out work that will help reduce the risk of flooding in the future - not a quick fix that won’t be effective in the long term.”
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