Sandwich Emergency Sewer Repairs

We’re repairing a related set of sewer bursts in and around Sandwich. Our teams have been working extremely hard to maintain progress and complete the work as quickly as possible.

Thank you for your patience – we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused while we carry out this essential work.

11 June update

Due to the impact of COVID-19 on our supply chain, we’ve had difficulties sourcing the specialist materials and equipment required to make the connections between the existing and new pipelines under the River Stour in Sandwich.

This means we had to delay the work until the week of 15 June at the earliest. This will have a knock-on impact on the timeline for completion of our repairs and the subsequent planned re-lining of the sewer pipes running under the A256.

In order to make the connections, the pumping station will need to be shut down for a period of up to 36 hours for each connection (north and south), during which we’re sorry to say we’ll need to use tankers to manage flows.

We’ll be using up to 15 tankers during each shutdown period so we now expect a noticeable increase in tanker activity during the period 15 – 26 June. We know the noise and traffic is disruptive to residents and we’ll work as quickly as is safely possible to complete the works.

We’ll continue to work to minimise the impact of the tankers when they’re needed – using as few as possible, keeping them out of the town when possible, running the engines only when necessary, and imposing a strict 20mph speed limit (10mph overnight).

Completing our repairs in Central Sandwich, near the Quay

Our teams have been working extremely hard to maintain progress and complete the installation of the new pipelines as quickly as possible while working within the restrictions placed upon them by current public health guidelines.

Subject to any further unforeseen delays, or long periods of inclement weather, we now expect to complete our works by mid-July, with full demobilisation by end of July.

Re-lining works on the A256 by Discovery Park

To provide additional resilience to the two sewer pipes running underneath the A256 by Discovery Park, we’ll be undertaking re-lining works following the conclusion of our repairs at the Quay. We expect our work to begin in mid-July for up to three weeks. The road will remain open throughout. However, single lane closures will be required to ensure the safety of our workforce and other road users. Further information will be provided in due course.

Previous updates

30 March update

A256 near Discovery Park

 

We're pleased to say the A256, Sandwich has been reopened, following our vital work in the area. There will be a lane closure in place on the northbound side of the road for us to carry out the final lining works underneath. Thanks to everyone affected for their patience over the last few months, and we are really sorry for the disruption caused.

 

Central Sandwich, near the Quay

 

Work is progressing to drill two new independent river crossings – one to replace the damaged Bulwark main, serving Sandwich, and a second to provide additional resilience for the Golf Road main, serving Deal, which also runs underneath the river.

If you need to talk to us

In line with Government advice, our weekly drop-in sessions at the Guildhall have been suspended until further notice. We will continue to update the posters on display in the Guildhall foyer. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our Customer Service Centre on 0330 303 0368 and speak to one of our agents.

Thank you for your patience whilst we make the necessary repairs in the local area.

24 March update

Whilst continuing good progress is dependent upon the evolving Covid-19 situation, our repairs are currently progressing as expected.

Central Sandwich, near the Quay:

Work is progressing to drill two new independent river crossings – one to replace the damaged Bulwark main, serving Sandwich, and a second to provide additional resilience for the Golf Road main, serving Deal, which also runs underneath the river.

By re-routing wastewater through another sewer line and introducing improved pump control, we’ve been able to significantly cut down on the number of tankers in Sandwich, except in rainy conditions.

During adverse weather, approximately six tankers will still be required to manage additional wastewater flows in the Sandwich area.

 Protective measures remain:

  • Matting in place to protect the Quay car park from damage due to tanker movements

  • Speed restriction of 20mph imposed on tanker drivers in town. 10mph between 10pm and 6am. Tankers are tracked to ensure this is obeyed 
A256 near Discovery Park:

We are working to reopen the southbound carriageway of the A256 as quickly as possible, with final reinstatement expected to be complete by 29 March.

Additional lining works will be undertaken in April, once the road has reopened, to provide extra resilience for the two sewer pipes which run underneath the road. A single lane closure may be required to ensure the safety of our workforce.

If you need to talk to us

In line with Government advice, our weekly drop-in sessions at the Guildhall have been suspended until further notice. We will continue to update the posters on display in the Guildhall foyer. If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our Customer Service Centre on 0330 303 0368 and speak to one of our agents.

Thank you for your patience whilst we make the necessary repairs in the local area.

17 March update
  • The A256 work is progressing well and we expect it to be complete in the next couple of weeks, dependent on the Covid-19 situation.

  • Drilling is progressing under the River Stour for the new pipe

  • We have diverted flows, so tankers will only be needed in rainy weather

  • In line with government advice relating to Covid-19, our weekly drop-ins at the Guildhall are suspended

10 March update
  • Work is well underway to reinstate the A256 – we’re working long hours and making good progress

  • Drilling underneath the River Stour is underway to replace the damaged sewer main

  • By re-routing wastewater through another line we’ve cut down on the number of tankers in Sandwich, except in rainy conditions

27 February update

A256 near Discovery Park

  • We’ve repaired the burst pipe beneath the A256.

  • Work to start final road repairs started on 26 February.

  • We will be working extended shifts to complete repairs and reopen the road as soon as possible.

By the Quay

  • Plan to drill under the river and lay new pipe has been approved.

  • To protect the river from pollution and maintain wastewater services to residents, tankers are required to remain in the area – we are keeping the number to an absolute minimum.

  • Exploratory digging found historical timbers and therefore required original dig location to move.

  • New dig location has been approved with work commencing on 2 March – we are working closely with local groups affected to minimise impact and make improvements to the area once we leave.

13 February update
  • Repair works to the burst pipes under the A256 are now complete – we are working with KCC Highways to reopen the road as soon as possible. We will communicate a start date for reinstatement as soon as this is agreed.
  • A256 Southbound Carriageway remains closed – a diversion is in place along Monk’s Way and through Discovery Park (shown on the map above).
  • A256 Northbound Carriage way will fully reopen as soon as we have removed all plant and equipment.
  • Work near the River Stour to repair burst under the river itself continues – due to location within Scheduled Monument, we are working closely with Historic England to allow us to complete drilling under the river and lay the new pipe.
  • Permission to drill exploratory boreholes in the area was granted. However, after timber was found during our first drill, we have now paused work and are being guided by Historic England on how to proceed (it is believed the timber may be related to a medieval boat previously found in the area and only partially excavated), although the dynamic nature means this is continually evolving.
  • We're working hard to minimise the impact of tankers – using as few as possible, keeping them out of the town when we can, and obeying a strict 20mph speed limit (10mph at night) between the pumping station near the Quay Car Park and the water treatment works.
03 February update
What progress is being made on the A256?

Southern Water’s repair to a burst pipe under the A256 is now complete. Although we cannot reintroduce pressurised flow to test the repair due to the other burst on the same stretch of pipe under the River Stour near The Bulwark.

We know that what people really want to know is when the A256 will be reopening – and we are delighted that the final survey looking at the integrity of the road is being completed by Southern Water this week. From these surveys the Council can decide when the closure can be removed.

What progress is being made at the Quay?

In the meantime work to repair the burst under the river continues. We are making good progress with plans to drill under the river bed and lay completely new pipe. Due to the location within a Scheduled Monument we cannot start major digging until we have all the permissions we need. We are working closely with Historic England to get started as soon as possible. Preliminary work is underway.

Why are tankers travelling through Sandwich Town?

We apologise again to residents for the continued requirement for tankers and wish to assure them that we are doing working hard to end the need. Right now they are unfortunately the only way to maintain wastewater services and protect the environment. In the meantime we’ll continue to use the lowest number we can and ensure they stick to the enforced 20mph speed limit.  

We are also exploring a temporary solution which may mean we can stop the tankers even sooner; we will keep everyone updated on this.

29 January update
What progress is being made on the A256?

As of 28 January 2020, a CCTV survey of the pipe has been completed at the A256 and a large section of damaged pipe has been identified, with repair work now underway.

Does this mean the road can be reopened?

Survey of the road’s geo-grid by Kent County Council Highways can now start, with a view to reopening the road as soon as possible. However, until survey is complete we cannot confirm when the road will be reopened. Safety of road users and the integrity of the road structure are our priorities.

What progress is being made at the Quay?

We are pushing ahead as fast as possible with a scheme to sink a temporary pipe across the Stour so we can cease tankering before the permanent repair is complete. At the same time we are preparing to use directional drilling to create a tunnel for a new permanent pipe.

How is Southern Water communicating with customers?

To keep customers informed, we continue to attend the Quay Car Park with our community van on a part time basis. However, to secure a regular presence, a space is being made available in the foyer of the Guildhall in Sandwich and we intend to make information available, and then hold regular drop-in sessions for face to face Q&As.

Why are tankers travelling through Sandwich Town?

All route options were explored with Kent County Council Highways. However, no other feasible route was available other than to travel through central Sandwich. We have listened to the concerns of residents and a speed restriction of 20 mph is in place (10mph overnight) to minimise impact, we are minimising the number of tankers where possible.

27 January update

On Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 January (8:30am to 4pm), our customer team will be at Quay Car Park, Sandwich CT13 9EW to answer your questions - please pop by if you can.

24 January update

Yesterday (23 January), we met with Sandwich Town Team, Devon District Council, Kent County Council Highways, the Environment Agency and Discovery Park to answer questions and work together to plan our repair work.

We’re grateful for customers’ feedback and suggestions. Please keep sharing your thoughts and concerns with us.

20 January update

Our customer team will be at Quay Car Park, Sandwich CT13 9EW at these times:

  • Mon 20 January, 1pm till 4pm
  • Tues 21 January - Thurs 23 January, 9am till 4pm
  • Fri 24 January, 9am till noon.

Please pop by if you can – the team will be happy to answer your questions.

17 January update

Our customer team will be at Quay Car Park, Sandwich CT13 9EW until 1pm today (Friday 17 January) to answer your questions - please pop by if you can.

  • We'll also be available in the same location on Saturday 18 January from midday to 4pm
  • We'll be back at Quay Car Park during next week, starting at lunch time on Monday 20 January
  • Availability for the rest of the week is to be confirmed.
14 January update

We're working behind the scenes with Kent County Council to survey the safety of the road - so there's work happening, even if it doesn't look like much is going on.

9 January update
  • We’re very sorry to residents in the CT13 9 area near Sandwich Road for any disturbance caused by traffic last night and throughout today.
  • We’re using tankers to remove wastewater flows and protect the environment while repairs are undertaken on the wastewater network.
  • Thank you for your patience while we complete this work – it may continue over the next couple of days.

 

How to find out more
Get in touch

If you have any questions or concerns, you can contact our Customer Service Centre on 0330 303 0368 (24 hours – calls charged at local rate) or fill out our online form.

Check back for updates

For the latest and most up-to-date information please keep an eye on this page, along with Southern Water’s Facebook page and@SouthernWater on Twitter.

Frequently asked questions

Why are we seeing Southern Water working in our area?

We regret that there have been three separate incidents all in a few months of each other, which have been impacting wastewater services in Thanet/East Kent and around Sandwich since late 2019.

What is Southern Water working on in East Kent?

  1. A pipe burst on Sandwich Road, Cliffsend in early November 2019. A temporary overland pipe has been installed while we work to replace a 4km section of pipeline from our Military Road Wastewater Pumping Station to Weatherlees Hill Wastewater Treatment Works.
  2. A burst pipe in late November 2019 under the A256 between Ramsgate roundabout and Monks Way roundabout – the repairs are complete and the road has been reopened.

  3. A burst pipe under the River Stour near The Quay in Sandwich in early 2020. Two new pipelines have been installed under the river – we expect to complete our works by mid-July 2020.

Why are there tankers in the area?

The bursts under the river and the A256 occurred on the same stretch of pressurised pipeline, so in order to work on them flow had to be removed by turning off the pumping station. To maitain wastewater services for customers in the Sandwich area, tankers were used to do the job of safely removing wastewater while protecting the environment.  

By re-routing wastewater through other sewer lines and introducing improved pump controls, we’ve been able to significantly cut down on the number of tankers we’re using while we continue our repairs at the Quay, except in rainy conditions.

There will be a noticeable increase in tankering activity for a short period around Sandwich when we make the final connections between the new and existing pipelines.

Why have these three incidents happened so close together in timing and location?

While we work quickly to resolve the issues, we are also working to ascertain if there is indeed a connection.The cause of the bursts are not yet known but pipework will be taken away and inspected at a later date. It is Southern Water’s number one priority to provide the best service to customers with minimum impact on them and the environment – so while we understand that you would rather we make quick resolutions, we are committed to improvements.

Where can I find updates and find out more?

For the latest and most up-to-date information please keep an eye on Southern water’s Facebook page and @SouthernWater on twitter – where we have also provided a short film to help explain the situation further.

 
 
 
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