I hope you've all had a wonderful start to the year!
We've been a bunch of busy bees and have some exciting news! We've had our first delivery of Smart meters for your area and installation has already begun! This is a really exciting step for us as we move forward with our Smart Suffolk project. We'll let you know when we're ready to install yours. Keep an eye out for a stage three postcard from us, which will contain more information of what you can expect.
We are also continuing with our boundary box installations, having completed 578 now. Remember, we update our traffic information page weekly with any upcoming closures that may affect you.
If you do have any further questions or concerns, feel free to leave a comment below and a member of our team will get back to you.
Work started this week to strip the topsoil along the route of the Layer to Langford Pipeline in anticipation of the pipe deliveries being made to site later in February. The topsoil is stripped by large excavators and/or bulldozers which pile up the topsoil on one side of the working area. When we come to excavate the trenches within which the pipe will be laid, the subsoil will be kept seperate from the topsoil to ensure the land is reinstated in the way it was found. The work has started at the Layer Water Treatment Works end of the pipeline and will move south over the next few months towards the other end of the route at Langford Water Treatment Works.
Last week we also completed what is called a 'strategic connection' onto an existing water main. At this strategic connection we will install valves that will help us to divert water into the new pipeline.
The site flooded again in December pushing progress back a little, but fantastic efforts again by the team in the new year have brought us to the point of completion of the steel framework, ready for a major concrete pour next week. Fingers crossed for good weather for the next few days!
The project has achieved a number of major milestones this year. We have now completed all of the planned road crossings along the route, we have completed the directional drill work beneath the River Blackwater and the Langford Cut, and completed our archaological and ecololgical mitigations. This puts us in a fantastic position to start the pipelaying in early 2024. Below are a few photos of our activities over the last year on the project.
The challenging weather has had few let ups in recent weeks which has pushed the lower portadam up to and beyond its limits on more than one occasion. The team on site have all worked so hard to achieve whatever progress they can through these very difficult conditions. It’s remarkable what has been accomplished already given the challenges, and we’re hoping to have another round of concreting completed at the lower end of the structure before the Christmas break. Let’s hope for some dry and stable weather into the New Year!
The attached photographs show the various stages of progress from the last few weeks at each end of the installation, plus a snapshot of the flooded portadam this week.
Fish & Eel Pass Progress Update, October 23
All the excavation works have been completed under a watching brief with a professional archaeologist. The excavation zone adjacent to the weir would in all likelihood have been dug over during the creation of the structure in the mid-20th Century, so as expected, no artifacts of historical interest were discovered.
The recent wet weather has provided challenging conditions for the portadam in the pond below the weir, so this week the team have focussed on installing sheet piling at the top end of the fish pass at the upper river where the ground is dry.
Next week the lower portadam will be drained again with the aid of a larger pump (powered by a quiet electrical generator) which should enable the lower end piling to commence.
Hope you’re all having a good week!
We’ve updated our traffic information page with upcoming footpath work for the week starting 16/10/2023. Disruption should be minor as we continue installing boundary boxes as part of stage two.
Just a quick update to say we'll be carrying out more boundary box installations this week starting 09/10/2023. There will be minor disruption to footpaths.
You can check our traffic information section for further information as to where we'll be carrying out the work.
We’re now getting on with stage two of the Smart Suffolk project. This involves us installing boundary boxes, for those who don’t already have them. These are the protective homes for the smart meters, on the pavement outside. You can recognise them by their square or circular black plastic lid. We’re really excited to be moving forward and this brings us even closer to installing our smart meters.
You may have seen some of our smart campaign whilst out and about, possibly spotting some of our signs at worksites.
We’d love it if you kept an eye out and told us when you spot them.
We also have some radio adverts that you might have heard. We’ve linked these in the ‘Smart Campaign’ tab, so check them out!
Have you spotted our smart campaign yet? You may have seen them while browsing the web, on social media, or when you're out and about. They feature our beautiful environment that we all care so much about. With our very own Lound Lakes and Water Voles. We also have the radio ads which you can listen to at the bottom. Smart meters are here to help keep water flowing for everyone in your community and we hope these help spread the message. So, join us in sharing how smart water meters help save water, our precious resource.
Radio ads 📻
Click here to listen to radio ad one
Click here to listen to radio ad two
Fish & Eel Pass Progress Update, September 23
The fish pass team have been on site for about a month now and have achieved great progress. The site is all setup, the trackway for access has been installed, tree stumps removed and protective fencing has been placed around the trees that are remaining to make sure vehicles can’t encroach into their root protection zones.
This week we have started to install a ‘portadam’ in the upper river and the lower pond which will provide a dry working area, enabling the team to start excavating to create the trench where the fish pass will be inserted. We’ll have an archaeologist on site next week observing the excavation works to see if there are any interesting historical artifacts uncovered.
The attached photos show the trackway, tree protection fence and the installation process for the portadam.
Our Layer to Langford Pipeline Project team is using a non-intrusive method to cross two major Rivers in Essex, the River Blackwater and the Langford Cut.
The method, known as directional drilling, drills a tunnel beneath the rivers through which over 200m of pipeline will be pulled. The alternative to this would involve sheet piling the rivers to stop the flow, overpumping the water and then open cutting the rivers, potentially causing ecological and environmental disturbance.
Work started last week, beginning with the drilling of a pilot tunnel 6m beneath the river beds. This will be followed by work to widen the tunnel ready to accept the large diameter pipeline.
The drilling process itself is expected to take four weeks.