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Surface water and sewerage water drainage issues for Fressingfield

24 October 2019

Surface water and sewerage water drainage issues for Fressingfield

Within the Village Improvement Plan, drainage matters in the centre of the village have the highest priority. Having previously met with Anglian Water representatives, councillors had another planned meeting this week. With the events of October 1st and 6th (when ‘hydraulic overload’ was experienced due to the equivalent of a month’s rainfall in around 4/6hours), the urgency for further action has very much increased.  This exceptional rainfall, experienced by several villages/locations across the region, is said to constitute a once in 50 years event.

The egress of greywater from manholes is seriously unsatisfactory and every effort is to be made to stop it. The involvement of Anglian Water, Suffolk Highways, the Environment Agency, Environmental Health (MSDC), the Parish Council and parishioners is critical for success in this. To promote this, the Parish Council meeting on Nov 19th will consider these matters.

The areas of concern remain

  • The capacity of the sewerage system for existing properties in the centre of the village - pipework and discharge 

  • Use of the of the greywater system to manage surface water from driveways, roofs and hard surfaces. This would seem to apply to older properties in the centre of the village. (Recent/future developments have surface water management measures within the properties.)

  • Management of highways water into the Beck from roads that feed into the watercourse, perhaps also field run-off under certain weather conditions.

  • Capacity issues of the Beck for surface water, constrictions and riparian responsibility of landowners/property owners.

Actions already committed to

  • Anglian Water is undertaking a village wide visual survey (3 days) of properties and drainage network to begin to identify the points at which surface water gets into the greywater system. Interim report for Nov 19th, a more detailed report to follow.

  • An online survey to provide additional data on surface water management, where properties have appropriate rebates/payments to offset surface water management needs.

  • Contacts with other agencies to generate the fullest understanding so that an action plan is comprehensive and cohesive.

  • Development of a positive, sponsored scheme for water butt, surface water soakaways and small pond construction for individual properties in the village. These to hold back water away from the network.

  • Proposed regime to maintain safer water management off the highways i.e. roadside clearance of debris and run-off supervision.

  • Pumping station maximised capacity to approx. 20 litres per second. (Harleston Hill)

  • Promotion of reporting of flood issues by parishioners to relevant agencies i.e. Anglian Water, Suffolk Highways, Environment Agency, etc

Expected outcomes

  • A detailed report from AW with recommended actions. Comparable reporting and recommendations from other agencies to produce a complete, comprehensive and funded action plan and provision for this to be achieved.

  • Provision for self-help scheme for Fressingfield central properties to, in part, mitigate the problems of Low Road and the risk to the whole community.

  • Consideration of climate change issues as relevant.

Other possibilities

  • Management of expectations within exceptional climatic events.

  • Installation of a sewerage plant in Fressingfield itself.  

  • A sealed sewerage system and its consequences.


Please do join us on Nov 19th to engage with improvements being sought to safeguard living in Fressingfield. Anglian Water are positively engaged through Nigel Minter, who will attend but there are plainly some actions that we, as Fressingfielders, can take to reduce such occurrences in the future. 

Garry Deeks

Chair, Fressingfield Parish Council


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