19 September 2023


Anglian Water is due to invest more than £500,000 in the Hunstanton area to protect the local environment, prevent flooding, and improve the health of beaches and bathing waters. The programme, which is due to begin at the end of September, includes work to reline sewers across Thornham and Holme-next-the-Sea, as well as investment to reduce the use of the storm overflow (also known as a CSO) at Hunstanton beach.

Engineers will reline nearly 800m of sewer pipes across Thornham and Holme-next-the-Sea, improving the sewer network’s resilience and preventing flooding. This work to reline the sewer will ensure that customers can continue to use their taps and flush their toilets without a second thought. 
When a sewer pipe gets old there is an increased risk of bursts and leaks causing potential pollution and interruption to customers’ sewerage services. Sewers need maintenance to keep them flowing and ensure pollution doesn’t find its way into the environment. This relining will prolong the pipe’s life and prevent groundwater infiltration, which can overwhelm the sewer and cause flooding and pollution.

The final stage of the project, which is expected to finish by the end of October, will see the team replace the storm overflow screen at Anglian Water’s Smugglers Lane pumping station in Hunstanton, as well as installing new level monitors. Storm overflows work by releasing excess storm water during extreme weather, to prevent sewers backing up into people’s homes. This screen will provide a physical barrier on the storm overflow in Hunstanton, preventing any solid material from leaving the network during extreme weather. This will protect the bathing water quality at Hunstanton beach by preventing pollution, as well as protecting the local area from flooding.

Claire Hickey, Regional Treatment Manager for Anglian Water, said: “We know how important keeping the local environment healthy is for the community in North Norfolk, and it’s our top priority too. Damaged pipes put the sewer network under a lot of pressure, which can result in burst sewer pipes. If repairs are not made in good time, this can cause a loss of drainage and toilet facilities for customers, as well as risking flooding and pollution in the natural environment. But we’re also seeing more bouts of extreme weather in our region as a result of climate change, which makes this work even more vital to protect the sea and beaches from pollution during heavy rainfall.

“That’s why we’re carrying out this essential maintenance on our sewer network and storm overflow in Hunstanton, Thornham and Holme-next-the-Sea. This work will prevent any disruption in sewerage services for local customers, as well as protecting local bathing waters and wildlife by minimising the risk of pollution.”

While customers’ facilities will not be disrupted during the scheme, the resin used to line the pipe can give off a sweet aromatic odour, similar to the smell of some glues. Customers are more likely to notice it in cellars and other lower-level rooms. It’s not harmful and won’t last long, but householders can get rid of it by opening their doors and windows, flushing their toilets and running their cold taps for a short time.

During this work, engineers will do what they can to minimise disruption, but Anglian Water will need to close some roads in order to keep its teams and other road users safe. Details of the planned traffic management are below:


Where When What
High Street, Thornham 25 to 28 September Traffic lights
Ship Lane, Thornham 27 to 30 September Road closure
The Green, Thornham 29 September to 3 October Road closure
Westgate, Holme 4 to 6 October Road closure
Beach Road, Holme 5 to 9 October Road closure


To find out more information and see the full traffic management plan, please visit: https://anglianwaterproject.com/Thornham

This project is being completed by Anglian Water’s @one Alliance. The @one Alliance delivers complex engineering and construction projects across the Anglian Water region, utilising the skills and expertise provided by their seven partner organisations – specialising in the world of water.