Survey in Southend

Work is underway to examine 75km of sewer pipes in Southend and identify cracks and holes before they become a problem. 

A team has been out on the streets for the past month sending cameras down pipes in order to check for any damage. So far they have surveyed 16km of pipes and are on target to complete the whole 75km project by early next year.

This is part of a wider programme of work in the town to improve drainage and help reduce flood risk.

Nik Shelton, Anglian Water spokesperson, said: “You may have seen our team out surveying sewers in recent weeks – they do this by sending CCTV cameras down the pipes and viewing the footage to highlight any signs of wear and tear.

“Once this project is complete we will look at all the data we have collected and prioritise work so refurbishment can start – this involves relining the pipes to improve their condition and aid flow.

“As you can imagine the sewer network under Southend is vast, so we are continually looking for signs of damage to fix before it becomes a problem. It’s like painting the Forth Bridge – it never ends and requires millions of pounds of investment – and this programme of work will be followed by yet another wave of surveys and refurbishment in other areas of Southend in 2016/2017 too.”

Earlier in the year, Anglian Water used cameras to look for blockages in specific flood risk areas, partnering with local agencies to tackle the issue of flooding.

Nik added: “There’s no overnight fix to the issues in Southend, but the Flood Partnership we are part of alongside Southend-on-Sea Borough Council and the Environment Agency is working together very positively as we share information and work together to resolve local issues.”

Anglian Water staff have recently been using high pressure water jets to clear fats and wipes from Southend’s sewers which reduce the capacity of pipes and cause blockages.

The entire town’s drainage network is currently being surveyed to create a digital model to predict flood risk. The work, which uses data from Anglian Water and is being overseen by Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, is nearly complete and will allow experts to test different scenarios and explore the best options for protecting Southend from flooding in the future.