Massive sewer system upgrade for Keswick

Aug 31, 2010

Water engineers are getting ready to start a major investment programme to improve the environment and reduce the risk of sewer flooding in Keswick. United Utilities is planning a series of projects in the town over the next two years.

The huge programme is designed to improve the quality of water in Bassenthwaite Lake while boosting the performance of the company's sewer network and helping to alleviate sewer flooding in the town. A public exhibition and information event is being planned for this summer, where local people will be able to view plans and ask questions.

The projects will include:
  • increasing treatment capacity by more than a third at Keswick Wastewater Treatment Works by extending the site and building a new inlet works and storm water storage tank.
  • moving the existing pumping station at Greta Grove to a new site, almost doubling its capacity, installing new screens and building a new sewer pipe to the wastewater treatment works.
  • improving the performance of United Utilities' existing sewer network in Keswick town centre by installing additional pipe and re-routing some sewers.

Together, this work will vastly reduce the number of times the sewer network overflows and floods during heavy storms.

United Utilities' Steve Howell, said engineers would be working closely with other organisations, such as the Environment Agency, Cumbria County Council, Allerdale Council and Keswick Town Council to ensure site works were co-ordinated for minimal disruption to local people.

"Unfortunately there is no way of carrying out work on this scale without causing some inconvenience for local people. However by working with other agencies and timing our most disruptive work outside the tourist season we hope to keep this to a minimum.

Everyone agrees that this work is important. Flooding from sewer pipes has been a major concern for people in Keswick in recent years and United Utilities is committed to doing everything possible to reduce the problem caused by its own network.

Another equally important element to the scheme is to reduce the amount of phosphorous that gets into Bassenthwaite Lake, when our wastewater network is overwhelmed by storm water. Phosphorous can cause a process called eutrophication, where increased nutrients cause a build up of algae, which is bad for water life.

Tighter new restrictions by the EU mean we have to improve the capacity and performance at the sewage works. This, together with the new pumping station will provide significant improvements to the natural environmental balance in Bassenthwaite Lake and the appearance of the River Greta. Work also needs to take place on some of the sewers under Keswick's streets. This will take place in winter to avoid disruption during the tourist season."

Site investigations are due to start with trial holes in Rawnsley Hall car park and the use of ground penetrating radar in and around Greta Bridge. Work in the highway will be non-dig and will be done outside normal working hours in close agreement with Cumbria highways officials.

Depending on planning permission and weather conditions, engineers aim to complete the entire scheme in summer 2012.

United Utilities Group PLC
Haweswater House
Lingley Mere Business Park
PH.: 01925 237 000
FAX: 01925 237 066

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