£75k plan to tackle Swaffham water main bursts unveiled

Baroness Shephard chaired the public meeting at Swaffham Town Hall ANL-150519-200302009
Baroness Shephard chaired the public meeting at Swaffham Town Hall ANL-150519-200302009
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Water company bosses have announced plans for improvements to the network in Swaffham which they hope will finally solve long-running problems with burst mains.

Residents and community leaders urged Anglian Water to act on the problem, which they say have been affecting the area for more than a decade, during a public meeting in May.

And officials have now revealed their intention to install new valves at several sites around the town in a bid to ease pressure on the network.

The company says it has identified three areas – Cley Road, Beachamwell Road and Watton Road – where the additional infrastructure is needed.

They say the valves will help to reduce pressure on pipes, particularly overnight, and make them less likely to burst. The work is expected to cost around £75,000 to complete.

Antony Innes, from Anglian Water, said: “We’re confident the plans are robust and will significantly reduce the chances of water supply interruptions in Swaffham in the long term.

“Discussions are already underway with the local highways authority to plan when we will be able to do this work and we hope to have these valves fully installed and operational by the end of the year.”

Temporary traffic lights will be needed while the work is carried out, although the company also says it plans to install a bypass management system, which it claims will enable future maintenance work to be completed without the need for traffic signals.

Two other sites, Sandringham Way and the area of Norwich Road and Captains Close, have also been identified as areas where new valves could help to reduce the impact of main bursts. Work on two trial holes will be undertaken during August in a bid to minimise the impact on nearby schools.

The proposals were outlined during a meeting at the town hall last Thursday, which Mr Innes described as “very positive.”

The meeting was organised by the town council and chaired by its former MP, Baroness Shephard.

The company has also pledged to meet individual residents to discuss concerns raised about surface water flooding in some areas of the town.

However, Mr Innes added: “Addressing these issues requires a multi-agency response and will be revisited at further meetings which we will be part of.”

Town clerk Richard Bishop said a meeting to discuss those issues would take place at the town hall on Thursday September 17 at 4pm.