Hole-of-a-challenge — collapsed sewers are presenting an unusual challenge to repair

Jan 22, 2007

Southern Water engineers discovered the sewers were buried seven metres (23 ft) under ground when they began emergency excavations in Willington Street, Maidstone, Kent, in November.

As well as the deep sewers, ground conditions were found to be difficult to work with and specialist contractors have been called in.

Clive Massey, Southern Water’s Customer Focused Sewerage Challenge Manager, said: "These conditions have proved a significant challenge and we would like to extend our thanks to residents and other road users for their patience while this work has been undertaken."

The sewers have now been reconnected and tankers needed to pump sewage away while the repair was carried out are no longer required.

The final stage is to refill the deep hole and reinstate the road. The difficult ground conditions means, extra care must be taken to ensure a safe and effective reinstatement. Specialist contractors will start work in the next few weeks.

Health and safety is a priority so careful management of the traffic and pedestrian walkway is still required and Southern Water is working with Kent Highway Services to minimise disruption.

The work is being carried out by Southern Water contractors Holleran Mouchel Parkman JV and is due to be completed by the end of January, 2007.


Southern Water




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