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£2m plan to relieve flooding
8:10am Thursday 3rd October 2013 in New Forest News
RESIDENTS who were forced to walk through raw sewage to reach their homes during the floods that hit parts of Ringwood last winter have welcomed Wessex Water’s £2million sewerage improvement scheme.
Flooding affected Kingsburys Lane and parts of the Bickerley last year, with householders placing sandbags at their entrances to protect their homes.
Elderly residents were evacuated from the Bickerley Green Nursing Home in Kingsburys Lane last Christmas because the toilets were unable to flush.
And months after the evacuation, the residential home was still having its waste taken away twice a day.
Residents said the flooding was the most severe in recent memory, with many blaming Hampshire County Council and the water company for neglecting simple maintenance and drainage.
Ringwood Town Council announced on Tuesday that Wessex Water had committed to a £2m scheme to upsize or duplicate the sewers, which would be completed by 2016.
And in the meantime the sewers would be checked and cleaned every six months to prevent build-up, which can affect the flow rate.
A spokesman from Ringwood Town Council said: “Last winter, Ringwood Town Council called for action by Wessex Water after a period of heavy rainfall led to the sewer being overwhelmed and sewage being discharged into Kingsburys Lane.
“After meeting with the council’s flood wardens and residents, Wessex Water agreed to fully investigate the flooding issues and find a solution. “It was expected that it could take up to two years to carry out a flow survey, utilising monitors in the sewers and rain gauges on roofs, and to generate a computer model of the data to determine what action might be taken.
“However, although the data is still being analysed, Mr Martin acknowledged that the existing sewers were not able to cope during periods of heavy rainfall.
“As a result, design consultants have been appointed to work on an improvement scheme, which is likely to include upsizing or duplicating the sewers and either providing storage or pumping more flow to the treatment works.
“The cost of the scheme is expected to be in the region of £2 million and should be complete by March 2016.”
Ringwood Mayor Steve Rippon-Swaine said: “We are very pleased that Wessex Water has acknowledged that there is a problem, and that the company has taken prompt action to investigate and decide that improvements must be made.
“We look forward to receiving further details of the proposed works, which will bring relief to residents living in the Bickerley area, and particularly Kingsburys Lane.”
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