A £2.5 million scheme to try solve a long running problem of sewer blockages and resulting floods got underway this week.

The Anglian Water project will see 15 sewage pumping stations in the Mildenhall area moved to more suitable places, making it a lot easier for the water utility to carry out maintenance and respond to problems.  

Over the next nine months pumping stations in West Row, Cavenham and Freckenham, along with six in Red Lodge and six in Beck Row, will be moved from their current location to nearby grass verges.  

Antony Innes, from Anglian Water, said: “There have been concerns with our pumping stations in this area for sometime and we have been working to reduce problems while a permanent solution was planned.  

“The good news is this full scheme is now underway.”  

The problem Anglian Water faced is that many of the pumping stations – which play an important role in keeping our used water moving through the sewer network – were built in the middle of the road at a time when traffic levels were considerably less.  

Antony continued: “While these stations are in good condition, it’s difficult to respond quickly to any problems because road closures or traffic lights are needed.  

“By relocating these stations to grass verges we will be able to easily maintain the pumps and ensure they work as they’re designed as well as quickly being able to address any problems caused by blockages.”  

As the project progresses and engineers move from pumping station to station there will either be road closures or traffic lights used to ensure the work is carried out quickly and safely. All diversions and closures will be clearly signposted ahead of work starting.  

Antony added: “Clearly a project of this size and length is going to be disruptive to the local area and we’re sorry for that. However we hope that the long term benefit to the area will far outweigh the inconvenience.”  

The planned programme of works is:  

  • Relocating six stations in Red Lodge between 24 June and 22 January 2014.
  • Moving a further six in Beck Row between late September 2013 and April 2014.
  • Work in West Row between 9 August and 20 September 2013.
  • Cavenham between 23 September and 19 November 2013.
  • Freckenham between 11 October and 22 November 2013.