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Thames Water in the Dock

October 3, 2007 2:02 PM
Tom Brake MP Reviewing plans for the upgrade of the foul water pipe network

(Left to Right) Tom Brake MP, Steve Thomas Principal Project Manager Thames Water and Deputy Leader of Sutton Council Cllr Colin Hall

Tom Brake MP, Councillor Colin Hall - Deputy Leader of Sutton Council and ward Councillors John Drage and Roger Thistle took Thames Water to task in a high level meeting on Monday in Tom Brake's constituency office for the damage caused by sewage and storm water in the recent floods and the devastating spill in the River Wandle. The Thames' representatives included their External Relations Manager Richard Aylard and the Principal Project Manager Steve Thomas.

Immediately after the meeting, the Thames representatives were taken on a tour of the worst affected sites by Tom and Colin; including Nightingale Close and Buckhurst Avenue. Astonishingly, Nightingale Close was not on Thames' list of places prone to flooding. Residents are now to be leafleted by Thames to establish the extent of the problem and how often it has occurred in recent years.

There was better news for Buckhurst Avenue. Thames expect to start building a new pumping station there from May 2008. Construction is expected to last around a year.

Tom Brake said, "Finally after years and years of fiddling with the pumping station and repeated requests from residents and myself to sort it out, a permanent solution is in sight. We now need to hold Thames to their timetable."

Thames have separately pledged to move ahead with a comprehensive scheme to re-establish the River Wandle 's habitat and restock the fish killed by a leak believed to be Thames' responsibility.

Colin Hall said: "I'm pleased that Thames have accepted responsibility for the disastrous poisoning of the river Wandle and agreed to provide new planting along the river edge to create a habitat for insects and animals and to restock the river with fish. It will take a long time for the river to recover and Thames must ensure that such a disaster cannot happen again."

Responding to complaints about sewage flooding Steve Thomas, Thames Water's Principal Project Manager, said, "Sewer flooding is a very unpleasant and distressing experience, so it is important that we reduce the risk of it happening again.

"We are planning to replace the sewage pumping station in Buckhurst Avenue with a new station that will be better able to cope with wet weather. We hope to start work in the second quarter of next year.

"We also want to improve the sewers serving Nightingale Road, and plan to lay new pipes and build an underground storage tank to increase the capacity of the system. We hope to start work early next year."

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