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Billingshurst sewer network improvements

We're building a new sewer to connect a new housing development just east of Billingshurst, to our wastewater treatment works in Stane Street.

Work started in February, and will cover a distance of just over 1.5 miles. We're due to finish by the end of the year.

While the construction work is taking place, we'll need to introduce rolling lane closures as we move from west to east along the A29 by-pass.

Two-way and four-way traffic lights will be in place, and these will be manually-operated during peak hours.

At times, the work will be under tarmac, sometimes up to 6 metres underground.
We’re aiming to complete the work by the end of the year and we’ll be using specialist tunnelling technology as much as possible, which means we don’t need to dig open trenches, minimising disruption.

UPDATE - 25 October

The four-way lights have now come down and we've reverted back to two-way lights. Thank you for your continued patience.




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  1. Why is Southern Water constructing a new sewer? 
    • We have a legal duty to provide a public sewer for any new and existing buildings to connect to. A new sewer can be requested by an individual or developer. The cost for building the new sewer is agreed with the person requesting it.
  2. What will happen if Southern Water doesn’t build the new sewer? 
    • Southern Water has a statutory duty enforceable under the Water Industry Act 1991 to provide the public sewer to the new housing development. We could be prosecuted if we fail to put in place the necessary infrastructure.
  3. Will you need to close roads while you build the new sewer? 
    • Works began on 20 February.

      We’ll need to put in a rolling lane closure as we move from west to east, with a combination of two-way and four-way traffic lights. These will be manually-operated during peak hours.
  4. How long will this work take? 
    • We’re aiming to complete the work by the end of the year. We understand this will cause some disruption and we are looking at working extended hours to try and minimise the length of time needed to complete this work.
  5. Why did Southern Water not object to the planning application for the development? 
    • We are not a statutory consultee when it comes to planning applications and are not in a position to object – we can only provide factual information to assist in the decision making process, for example in relation to capacity within the existing system.
  6. Why can't you work in the verge? 
    • Gravity sewers like this must follow a straight route so wastewater can flow through easily.

      Due to the location of the footbridge, if we were to start work in the verge we would need to go into the road as we approach the bridge, then back onto the verge.

      This means the sewer would not follow a straight route so would not work effectively - the risk of sewer blockages would be much higher.
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