Sewage improvement work costing £2m to start in July

The river on a sunny day in the centre of the town with a bridge over it with people and a swan on the water
The scheme is being carried out to reduce the flood risk to homes and protect the River Avon, which runs through Chippenham [BBC]

A six-month project costing £2m will start next month to provide extra capacity in the sewer network, including a tank that can hold 250,000 litres of water.

The scheme in Chippenham is being carried out by Wessex Water to reduce the flood risk to homes and protect the River Avon, which will also involve putting in around 500m of other sewage pipelines.

Road closures will be put in place in July and August as a result, affecting Long Close, where the tank will go, London Road and Black Cross.

The water company's project manager, Paul Delves, said the work will mean the network can better cope with "the arrival of large volumes of water in a short space of time, such as during a heavy storm".

The work, in the east of Chippenham, is to ensure sewage cannot spill over into nearby properties.

The tank at land off Long Close will be 10m deep and will automatically be able to handle storm overflows.

Mr Delve said: “This stormwater combines in the sewer with the foul water from homes and businesses and can also cause overflows to operate, but by retaining it in the tank, it can be returned to the sewer later, prior to being piped to a water recycling centre for treatment."

The scheme is expected to be finished at the end of January 2025.

Road closures in the area will include:

  • London Road will be closed to through traffic between Wiltshire Tyres to Pack Horse Inn, from 25 July to 31 August

  • Black Cross will close between junctions with Long Close and London Road, from 26 August to 20 September

  • A short section of Long Close will close near the Black Cross junction, from 16 to 27 September

A play area next to the site of the new storage tank will also be closed while the project is in progress.

Wessex Water said it has worked with Wiltshire Council to "minimise the impact of these road closures" and has written to local residents in the area.

It is part of the water company's £3.5bn investment in the network, which includes £400m towards reducing discharges from storm overflows.

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