Northumbrian Water is to invest £8 million to upgrade its sewer network in Sunderland.
The one-year scheme, which will begin in November 2016, will improve the performance and resilience of the water company’s network in Roker, Seaburn and St Peter’s.
Work will involve reducing the amount of surface water that enters the sewer network and this will free up capacity within pipes. This is particularly important in times of heavy rainfall.
As a result, the amount of times that waste water is discharged into the sea at Whitburn Steel pumping station, and into the River Wear, near St Peter’s Church, will be reduced. Flood risk will also be reduced in parts of Roker and Seaburn.
Northumbrian Water’s wastewater director, Richard Warneford, said: “Our sewer network improvement scheme comes at a time when there is a significant amount of work being carried out by many organisations, big and small, to help make Sunderland a great place to work, live and visit.
“We appreciate how much our customers in Sunderland, and across the region, rely on us to provide them with the best service we can and reducing flood risk and looking after the environment are two of our top priorities. Removing surface water from sewer pipes is a very effective way to reduce the risk of flooding and pollution.
“As well as installing new pipes to transfer surface water away from the sewer network, and new tanks to store storm water, we are also hoping to use sustainable drainage solutions, where possible. These may include rainwater gardens, ponds or grassed detention basins and have wider social and environmental benefits, including providing a green space for people to go to in an urban area and creating valuable wildlife habitats.
“As well as the customer and environmental benefits, research shows that for every £1 that we invest, a further 80 pence is spent in the region.”
The utility plans to install new sewer pipes in the land between, and on, Fulwell Road, Roker Baths Road and Harbour View, in Roker, to transfer surface water to Roker Marina where it will discharge to the River Wear via existing pipe work.
Underground storage tanks will be constructed in farmland north of Mere Knolls Cemetery, in Seaburn and in land close to the University of Sunderland’s St Peter’s Campus. The size of the tanks will be minimised due to the other work being carried out to remove surface water from the sewer system.
New sewers will also be installed in the Ocean Park area of Seaburn to transfer surface water from Morrisons supermarket and its car park to Cut Throat Dene. Surface water from farmland, in the Boldon Flats area of Cleadon, which currently enters the sewer network, will also be transferred to Cut Throat Dene via a new pipe.
Mr Warneford continued: “We have written to residents who will be affected by this scheme, and will write to them again before work begins in their area, to give them further detailed information on how they may be impacted.”
Further information and advice is available from Northumbrian Water’s customer centre on 0345 717 1100, via @nwater_care on twitter or by logging onto www.nwlcommunityportal.co.uk.
For further information contact Cara Charlton on 0191 301 6720.