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West Norfolk councillors take tour of Heacham sewage works amid water quality issues





Councillors were taken on an “eye-opening” tour of a village’s sewage works amid ongoing problems with water quality.

Three West Norfolk borough councillors were shown around Anglian Water’s treatment works in Heacham last Wednesday, with the standard of the bathing water at the nearby beach deemed to be “poor” after a survey by Surfers Against Sewage last year.

Cllr Sandra Squire, cabinet member for environment and coastal, was joined by Conservative leader Stuart Dark and Liberal Democrat Rob Colwell at the site.

The Anglian Water sewage works in Heacham. Picture: West Norfolk Council
The Anglian Water sewage works in Heacham. Picture: West Norfolk Council

Cllr Squire said: “I’m pleased that other councillors were able to join me on this eye-opening tour today, along with representatives from Norfolk County Council, the Environment Agency and Internal Drainage Board.

“As the new cabinet member who has water management and its quality in my portfolio it’s good to see how the water is treated, how many different factors affect the water quality at Heacham and how it's important all agencies come together and collaborate to help improve things.

“I thank Anglian Water for giving us a tour of their facilities.”

The Anglian Water sewage works in Heacham. Picture: West Norfolk Council
The Anglian Water sewage works in Heacham. Picture: West Norfolk Council

Cllr Colwell has raised concerns about water quality in Heacham himself in recent months, writing in the Lynn News that he was “shocked by the initial results” of tests he carried out himself.

Anglian Water has defended the role played by its sewage treatment centre, which releases “recycled” water into the Heacham river which then flows into the sea at the beach.

It says other sources are behind the poor water quality in the area, with seabirds – which are particularly numerous in this area of the Wash – accused of being the main culprit.

The Anglian Water sewage works in Heacham. Picture: West Norfolk Council
The Anglian Water sewage works in Heacham. Picture: West Norfolk Council
The Anglian Water sewage works in Heacham. Picture: West Norfolk Council
The Anglian Water sewage works in Heacham. Picture: West Norfolk Council

But critics are sceptical and say further research is needed.



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