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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.

The final phase of our scheme in Billinghurst will now be completed in February - although we're doing all we can to finish sooner.

This is due to a request for us to stop work over Christmas, to reduce traffic disruption over the festive season.

We’ve now returned to the roundabout at the top of the Billingshurst by-pass, where there will be four-way lights in place until the scheme completes.

We are manually controlling the traffic lights throughout the entire day in order to try to minimise delays as far as possible.

We’re sorry for the additional delay and assure you we’re doing all we can to complete the work, and clear the site. We'd like to thank everyone again for their patience.

Update 15 January 2017

This last phase of work is progressing well.

Traffic lights continue to be manually controlled from 6.30am-6.30pm.

We’re aiming to switch traffic management to the east side of Hilland roundabout on Saturday (Jan 20).

Traffic lights can be operated remotely from a nearby site unit, rather than directly on site.
We have two operatives who are manually operating these lights - one to monitor the traffic, and one to control the lights (from the unit nearby). So please rest assured these lights are being manually operated, even if the people doing so aren’t visible.


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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 now aiming to complete the work in February 2018. 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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