Sutton North Lib Dem Councillors

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Solution found to blocked drain in Collingwood Road after weeks of waiting

by Ruth, Marlene, and Steve on 9 July, 2021

Residents of Collingwood Road will know of the persistent problems with rainwater drainage on the evens side of the road between Chaucer Road and Alexandra Avenue.  Thames Water (who have responsibility for surface water drainage) dug a hole outside No.216 some months ago, and we have been waiting for them to return and complete the job.

The hole outside No 216

After continuous chasing by Sutton Council officers and residents on this, Thames Water have now returned, and conducted a CCTV survey through the pipe.  This shows that there is a Sutton and East Surrey Water fresh water pipe which has been knocked through the TW drain pipe at a point just past Alexandra Ave.  Thames Water are responsible for rainwater drains, while SESW are responsible for the fresh water supply.

The rainwater drain pipes are very big, about 1 metre in diameter.  Apparently, many years ago, SESW knocked two holes in this pipe, to enable one of their pipes to run through it, at right angles.  Presumably this was to avoid having to dig deeper and go underneath the rainwater drain.  The SESW pipe is made of lead and is quite old, and this might have been done when the water supply was laid for these houses.  It explains why there have been continuous blockages over the years.

Sutton Council will be convening an on-site meeting with SESW to explain the issue to them and ask them to replace the lead pipe and repair the TW pipe.  The lead pipe will be replaced with new plastic piping, and this will probably require the water being turned off for a small number of houses for a short period of time.  Residents affected will be notified.  SESW will need to dig a hole at the place where the problem is – the site has been marked out with a yellow cross on the road.  This work will only take a day or so.

Where the blockage is

When SESW have completed this work, TW will jet out the rainwater drain to ensure it is free from any remaining obstruction.  They can do this from the inspection cover near Alexandra Avenue, so no need to dig another hole.

The existing hole near No 216 will now be filled in and the drain cover replaced, and it is hoped this can be done as soon as possible.

Clearly by pushing their pipe through the TW drain pipe, SESW have caused many years of blockages, which although they have been reported over the years and action has been taken, there has not  been a proper discovery of the root cause until now.  We know there have been drainage problems in the area for several decades – probably as far back as when some of the houses were built.  It is good to know that this is finally to be resolved, although it has taken many weeks for Thames Water to get round to this.

We have asked Council officers to see that SESW are charged for the cost of all these works, and asked that it is all completed before the road resurfacing due in August.

Ruth, Marlene and Steve

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