River Blackwater (Langford)

The Eel Regulation Compliance project at the River Blackwater in Langford is for installation of eel friendly screening equipment at our abstraction point on the river. The work is driven by the need for Essex & Suffolk Water to comply with the Eels Regulations (2009) and will improve the biodiversity value in the River Blackwater.

Planned Work

The River Blackwater intakes will remain operational throughout the duration of the work with only short shutdowns required. These shutdowns will have no impact on our ability to supply water from the Langford Water Treatment Works.


Scheme Overview

There are three projects planned at the River Blackwater which are all part of the wider Eel Regulations Compliance programme of works. The three objectives are:

  • Two sets of screening, one at the Langford Mill Intake and one at the Blackwater Intake to protect eels from being drawn into the abstraction.
  • One fish pass at the Blackwater Weir to provide upstream passage for fish and eels from the weir pond to the main river above.


The Langford Mill Intake is situated directly behind the Mill building, adjacent to the car parking area of the Mill House Hotel. The Blackwater Weir is about 100m upstream (north) of the Mill Intake and the Blackwater Intake is another 40m upstream of the Weir.

Construction Areas and Activities

The main working area for construction of the Mill Intake Screen will be the river immediately behind the Mill and the adjacent land to the west of the Mill (hidden from the main road behind an existing brick wall). Access to the site will be via the existing driveway just off the B1019, between the Mill building and the village hall. The same area will be utilised as a base for the construction team working on the fish pass although the building works will be around the southern side of the weir. Plans for the Blackwater Intake Screen construction are to be finalised and information will be provided via the project updates on the portal.

The construction activities will require a regular site presence for several months from a small team of construction engineers with small vehicles. Occasionally larger vehicles such as a crane may be required to assist in the installations. Underwater works in the river will be undertaken by professional dive teams.