Work continues by on the repair works to the sewerage system in the Upper Lambourn Valley. Local residents will need no reminding that when the groundwater level is high (usually in the winter) water is forced in through cracks in the pipes and overwhelms the system,. Penny Post received the following information from Thames Water on 6 October 2021 detailing several projects planned for the next two months. Some may result in local road closures and diversions, the details of which will be publicised nearer the time.
- Work to divert a buried well on private property into a nearby ditch rather than it flowing into the foul sewer, was planned to start in August. However, we were unable to make use of private land, as had been previously arranged for our welfare unit and the use of two-way traffic management. Therefore, we have now request full road closure and permits have been submitted to West Berkshire Council. We are awaiting a date for the work.
- A manhole chamber which was allowing significant amounts of surface water to enter the foul sewer has been sealed.
- Sewer relining work on the High Street has been completed.
- The ATAC filtration unit will again be on standby in the village in case of another wet winter. It will be situated in the footpath from the fire station entrance and Beales Farm Close. We are looking to deploy this in November.
- We noted there were no problems with groundwater infiltration during the wet weather period, despite groundwater levels being high. This suggests flooding of the sewer network in previous years has been from floodwater from the river and the lining work we completed in 2019/20 appears to have been successful. Because of this we’ll continue checking our network close to the river and making sure things like loose manhole covers, that could let water in, if the river were to flood in the future, are fixed.
- A £30,000 sewer relining project was carried out and completed in May 2021 to line sewers in Front Street and Station Road.
- Additional relining of a 25m stretch of the sewer has been completed.
- Work to seal a manhole chamber on private property, which was allowing groundwater to ingress the sewer, has been completed.
- Where ground water levels have remained high this has given us the opportunity to continue infiltration investigations through the summer. So far, we have found 12 new points of groundwater infiltrating the network. Two of these points are on our network and ten are on private sections of sewer. We are arranging repairs the two on the public sewer and will work with the private residents with a view to resolving the other ten.
- Further surveys have found more points of infiltration and means we’re planning to reline an additional 1.2km of sewers and seal 32 manholes. Dates for the work are currently being confirmed, although as the work can’t be carried out when groundwater levels are high this may affect the timescales for completion.
- A damaged sewer pipe which was letting in a significant amount of water has been repaired.
- We have a proactive sewer cleaning job raised, which should be carried out during October/November, to ensure the sewer can operate without the added risk of fat, oil, grease, and wet wipe blockages. Customers can play their part by only flushing the three Ps (pee, poo and paper) and binning items like wipes and nappies that cause blockages and increase flood risk.