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SAGLUV UPDATE

SAGLUV Update May 2024

 

Rumour has it that summer is just around the corner. What can we expect? Heat wave? Drought? Who knows, but no sign of it yet!

So, before the BBQs and Rosé grab your attention, we thought a quick update on the less pleasant issue of sewage wouldn’t go amiss.

 

Groundwater levels are steadily dropping now, and we are at the stage when we can start thinking about saying goodbye to the ATAC unit and tankers (at least until next winter!) We are not there yet, and a prolonged period of rain will delay things further, but at least we’re heading in the right direction.

 

But in case anyone thinks that SAGLUV and Thames Water will be relaxing and taking a breather, that is definitely not the case. In fact, this is a busy time, when TW have only a few weeks to find further infiltration leaks as the groundwater is still coming in, but whilst the levels in sewers are low enough to spot them. This is done by manual inspection of manholes, and by clever cameras that can travel along the sewer pipes. And we in SAGLUV will be pressing hard to ensure the promised relining and repair work is actually done!

 

Here is a quick roundup of what’s been happening in our villages:

Eastbury.

The weeks since our last report have been quite eventful. The tanker operation continued, as although the groundwater levels continued to drop, the sewage problems got worse. Manholes were overflowing where they hadn’t previously, and loos were backing up too. The problem was the weed in the river that had grown very quickly and had caused the river to come out of its banks resulting in flooded roads and additional ingress of water into the sewer network. The Village Wardens, James and Andrew, “persuaded” the EA to do a weed cut, and within a day the river was down and the sewers were back under control. James and Andrew have just requested that EA carry out a further cut as the weed is still growing fast, and they don’t want to let it get out of hand again.

The tanker operation was stood down and things were getting back to normal, but then a series of localised manhole overflows occurred. These were traced back to problems with the FLIP units that pump some sections of the sewer into the pumping station. A partial fix has been implemented with further pipework repairs planned when levels drop sufficiently.

In the last few days you may have seen roadworks and a large puddle at Newtown as you approach Eastbury from EG, at the same location that suffered so badly from sewage overflows previously. However, it appears that this time it is a water leak! As if we didn’t have enough water around already!

But after a few weeks of turmoil, currently, the sewage situation in Eastbury seems to be under control.


Great Shefford.

The tanker operation is still underway, however, a few weeks ago it was very intermittent and residents were suffering the usual problems with loos and showers when tankers were absent. This unsatisfactory situation was taken up with TW, and since then the tankers have been present on a more regular basis. This seems to have resolved the issue, and hopefully, with the water table dropping, it won’t be too long before the tanker operation can be stopped.

East Garston.

For all intents and purposes, the sewage situation in EG is back to normal. No problems have been reported recently with manholes or loos. The ATAC unit is still running, but this may well be turned off and removed in the near future. TW have found a problem with a pump in the Pumping Station which will have to be sorted out before they can finally confirm that the ATAC unit can be removed.

A team of six engineers came out last week to inspect all manholes and to look for signs of infiltration. Sue and I had a useful hour and a half’s meeting with them afterwards to review what they had found and to discuss future work plans. They had found some leaks which they will be following up and may bring the camera unit out to investigate further possible ingress points. They also found a number of cases where rainwater drainage was entering their system, which can have an impact at times of high groundwater flooding, and they will be following this up as well in the coming weeks.



We will be seeking a formal progress review meeting with TW in the coming weeks when they should have a clearer picture of when the repair and relining work can be started.

We’ll keep you updated as and when we find out more.

 

Kind regards

The SAGLUV Team


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