Anglian Water begins next stage of Norwich to Ludham water project to protect local conservation area

18 August 2020


Anglian Water has begun the second stage of a project to move water from its Water Treatment Works in Norwich to Ludham in order to maintain water supplies to 3,000 homes and protect a much-loved area of the Norfolk Broads.


Currently water for the area comes from a borehole near to Ludham itself, however to help protect the surrounding environment of Catfield Fen, which is a renowned Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and part of the Norfolk Broads, Anglian Water will stop taking water from the groundwater source once the work is complete.


The £9million investment into the area is crucial for the long-term protection and conservation of this unique habitat.


Following the successful installation of 3km worth of pipeline, connecting Ludham to Horstead Water Tower, water can be transferred across the county from one of the company’s main treatment centre at Heigham in Norwich. The next phase of the project will see Anglian Water construct a new booster station and additional water storage facility at Horstead to pump water directly to customers taps.


Geoff Darch, Water Resources Strategy Manager for Anglian Water, said: “In the Anglian Water region, we face some unique challenges. We operate in the driest part of the UK, receiving only two thirds of the average rainfall, as well as being one of the fasting growing and home to over 100 environmentally important areas that are internationally recognised.


“Our role as a water company is to carefully manage our customers’ demand for water and the needs of the wider environment simultaneously. We work closely with the Environment Agency to review our abstraction licences to ensure we continue to strike that fine balance.


“With the first stage of the project now complete, we’re another step closer to ending the use of groundwater abstraction at Ludham, which will help to protect the environment in this precious part of our region and keep taps running for thousands of nearby homes for years to come.”


Ensuring a resilient infrastructure is a key part of Anglian’s long term water resources planning – which looks decades into the future. Between 2020-2025, the company will reduce the amount it takes from the environment by 84 million litres a day.


Geoff continued: “We are pleased with the progress of the work so far. Ensuring we continue to protect and enhance the environment across our region sits at the heart of business. This kind of work is indicative of types of challenges we can expect to face in a future with a changing climate and a growing population. It’s why we plan decades into the future, in order to keep taps running, while protecting the habitats which make the East of England unique.”


The next phase of work will be completed within Anglian’s current sites at Horstead and Spixworth, meaning there will be virtually no disruption to local residents and road users. However, teams will be closely managing site traffic, and traffic management plan in also in place which will avoid large vehicles travelling through the village.


The company’s dedicated team of operational experts will be working on the project for seven months, with work expected to be completed by the end of March 2021.