Fears that sewage could enter waterways around village as drains ‘struggle to cope’ with new homes


- Credit: Archant

A Brampton man is calling for remedial work to be carried out to prevent leaks from a sewage works before hundreds of new homes are built in the village.

Brian Whitmee, of River Lane, lives 200 yards away from the waste plant, owned by Anglian Water, and is concerned that sewage could enter the local waterways and cause havoc to the eco system if a large leak were to occur. He and his neighbours have experienced several leaks over the last few years, the most recent was on April 10. While the spillage was contained to a path running along the front of the sewage works, Mr Whitmee has witnessed human waste and raw sewage flowing across River Lane in the past.

“Anglian Water have told me they have a response plan in place but if there was a major leak the effluent from the site would be in the nearby water course within a very short time and could contaminate all the major waterways in the area,” he said.

“As things stand, Anglian Water does not have the means to prevent discharged effluent from flowing into the waterways,” he added.

Mr Whitmee’s concerns have been heightened because there are plans to build hundreds of new homes in Brampton, which will create more waste for the treatment centre to deal with.

“There is no retaining bund around the site to prevent even a minor leak, which is something I have suggested to Anglian Water, but if the sewage farm cannot cope now what will happen with the extra pressure from the volume of houses planned for the village in the next few years.”

In a statement, Anglian Water told The Hunts Post: “We have been in regular contact with Mr Whitmee, our treatment manager has visited him at home and spoken to him on the telephone. We always do our best to listen our customers and we understand his concerns. There are new homes in the early planning stages for this area and we are working with local planners to ensure we are prepared for the arrival of new residents. We are looking at all the options for ensuring our sewer network in this area is resilient, however it is currently working well and coping with the levels of waste water coming through the pipes.

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“There was a spillage close to the treatment works recently which was quickly contained and cleared up. We take all such incidents seriously and we are looking to see if there is anything we can learn from this incident to prevent a recurrence.”

Huntingdonshire District Council, which is the planning authority and will oversee any applications for new homes, said it had consulted with Anglian Water as part of the planning process.

In a statement, HDC said: “Anglian Water have no objection to the RAF Brampton application, subject to appropriate conditions. Their comments are available to the public online – application 15/00368/OUT). As they are statutory undertaker for foul drainage, we would follow their guidance as part of the planning process.”