Arrangements that would help prevent flooding could take anywhere up to ten years, town councillors in the Ringwood area have been told. A manager for the Wessex Water sewerage planning department gave members of the council an update on the outlined improvement scheme for Ringwood.
He said that the company’s proposed scheme to make sewers in the area bigger and provide additional storage at the pumping station or pumping more flow into the treatment works was set for the year 2015/16. The work is intended to double the rate of flow and provide a higher level of protection from a 30 year flood event. However, the second stage of the work which includes a pumped overflow at the pumping station which would pump flow straight to the river in emergency situations would require consent from the Environment Agency. Obtaining such consent could take 10 years.
In addition to speaking about the proposed scheme, Wessex Water said that they had identified a damaged foul pipe which was allowing water into the sewer. This has now been repaired, resulting in a reduction in flow. Members of the council were appreciative of the repaired pipe, but voiced concerns that residents in the area could be faced with a winter of flooding before the improvement scheme takes place. There was also concern expressed regarding the impact that development could have on the current sewerage infrastructure.
Wessex Water said that he believed sewerage from planned new homes would flow directly into the treatment works rather than via the pumping station. Members of the council agreed that they would lobby the local MP about the potential wait for the second stage of the sewerage works to ensure that it was given high priority. A visit to the treatment works and pumping station especially for the council is now being arranged.