Category Archives: Flooding

Flooding & sewerage update

From Tony Konieczny, HVRA Chairman

Dear Resident,

This, hopefully, is the last update on the sewage situation in Hughenden Valley.

Thames Water has installed two 6″ pumps by the Surgery and Boss Lane. Together, these seem to be evacuating the sewers back up Valley Road. We wait to see if their suck will extend to Warrendene Rd, where there are leaking covers in peoples’ gardens. Discharge is into the stream, but at least the sewage is now filtered, but it is still full of bacteria, so please avoid all valley water where possible.

The Environment Agency has concerns about polluting watercourses, as we would want it to, so it was with understandable reluctance that they allowed Thames Water to do this. Thames Water were quick to provide a remedy once permission was given, but, given the disasters taking place elsewhere, could not immediately get the kit they wanted. It is easy to knock people and organisations for not doing something quickly enough, but if we have learned anything it is that we need to impress on those who can remedy the situation to take our warnings seriously early on. It was not until Hughenden Valley Residents Association were informed of the problem that a two-pronged attack was made that resulted in the issue being taken seriously by the EA and TW. But still, it has taken nearly three weeks where residents have been living in appalling conditions. That they have retained their good humour is to be applauded.

Now that the immediate problem seems to be under control, with TW monitoring the situation closely on a daily basis, we can turn our attention to getting recompense for those residents who have incurred significant expense in diverting sewage away from their houses. We are not too concerned about the clean up that will be needed, for TW have promised to do this as soon as the present danger is passed.

Simultaneously, we will be keeping up the pressure to get a proper solution to the problem for the forseeable future. Excessively wet winters seem to be a frequent event and must be planned for.

As I write, the stream is coping at Church Farm, but there is potential for significant damage should we get more rain. The long term solution needs to factor in the need to divert the stream safely away from these houses.

I would like to sincerely thank our Road Reps, the backbone of HVRA, without whom we would not be able to disseminate information and receive advice from experts in our midst. They are key to what makes living in this community the pleasure that it is.

Kind Regards,
Tony Konieczny

Flooding & sewerage update

From Tony Konieczny, HVRA Chairman

Dear Residents,

Yesterday I was told about increasing levels in the stream by Church Farm, and of sewer leakage into the grounds of properties by Oakleaf Farm. This morning I was informed by the TW engineer that he had located 2 pumps of 6 inch bore. These should be in place outsider the surgery (replacing the current one) and in Boss Lane by 8am, tomorrow, Tuesday. Their efficacy will be monitored.

This action will increase the volume of water in the stream, which might be of concern to Church Farm residents. They should contact Bucks County Council, as streams are not under the remit of TW. This should be done as soon as possible.
We don’t yet know what the impact of two 6″ pumps will be. Their effect might extend to Warrendene Rd, which might help the problem there, but we must remain aware that there is a lot of water getting into the system, so it might not be enough. I will email the engineer to see if the 4″ pump can be used in Warrendene Rd.

The forecast seems to be for dry weather, but we all need to generate as little waste water as we can, for the benefit of affected residents.

Kind Regards,
Tony

Flooding & sewerage update

From Tony Konieczny, HVRA Chairman

Dear Resident,

This afternoon, David Carroll, our District and County Councillor, Roger Hewitt, resident and Civil Engineer with experience of waste water infrastructure, and myself, as Chairman of the Hughenden Valley Residents Association, had an on-site meeting with a TW engineer. It was a positive meeting.

I was already aware that the houses from the bus stop to Boss Lane were not benefitting from the pump installed yesterday by the Surgery. It was explained that the sewer from these houses flowed north to Boss Lane, then went through 180 degrees to join the Valley Road sewer. The new pump is only 4″, so the engineer suggested upgrading this to a 6″ in an attempt to suck the sewage from the dog-leg. Apparently the success or otherwise of this action would be very quickly evident.

Plan B is to leave the 6″ pump working and to place the 4″ pump in Boss Lane on the grass verge at the corner, where there is a manhole. The sewage would be pumped into the Boss Lane stream. It would be necessary to carve a channel for the exit pipe across the road. The upgrade to a 6” pump is planned to happen quickly. Perhaps someone in the vicinity could update me on progress.

The pumping has already stopped the waterfall from Spring Rising falling into the ditch and thence to the stream.

Clean up will be started when the water levels allow and the pumps will be retained as long as they are needed.

On a daily basis, a TW man will take water samples from Boss Lane, the footpath in the field by the pumping station and from the stream further down towards Wycombe. The results will be sent to the Environment Agency.

This is the short term solution. The longer term solution will require some serious money, because it is not only our network that needs upgrading. Perhaps HS2 could be scrapped and the money spent upgrading the sewers of this country.

We still have work to do with compensation and the drive for a long term solution, but we are making progress. Not ideal, but the residents in the affected houses can now get some sleep and go to the loo – things we take for granted until disaster happens. That they can now do this has made all the effort worthwhile.

I should like to thank Roger Hewitt for his intervention with TW and our MP, David Lidington, for the very supportive letter he wrote to TW.

Kind Regards,
Tony

Flooding and sewage problems

From Tony Konieczny, HVRA Chairman
Dear All,

You may have seen the wet areas, especially between Coombe Lane and Cryers Hill. They have not only been caused by rain, but be the sewerage system being unable to cope. Residents in the dozen or so houses opposite the village hall have had a horrendous time trying to divert the sewage away from their homes. Manhole covers have been lifted by the pressure of water, causing sewage to flow into the streams that start in Boss Lane and Spring Rising. The streams have flooded the fields with foul water and detritus. There is also sewage overflow at the bottom of Bryants Bottom Road near Warrendene Road and on Valley Road between Trees Avenue and Coombe Lane.

You should tell residents to treat ALL OUTSIDE WATER AS POISONOUS. This includes the puddle outside the Surgery and whatever emanates from the drain cover by the bus stop. Please warn children and those with dogs to avoid all standing and running water. This could last until August.

The Residents Association has been putting pressure on Thames Water to treat this seriously and we seem to be making progress, although nothing has yet been done. We do now have a named person who has responsibility for sorting out this problem in both the short and long term. We will report as events unfold.

We suspect that the problem is caused by large bore pipes discharging into small bore pipes, causing sewage to back up until it can find an exit. Volumes have increased due to the recent rains.
In the meantime, could all residents show consideration to those on Valley Road by being sparing with their use of water, especially after periods of rain. What you flush down the drain could well appear lower down the hill.

Kind Regards,
Tony