DIG Report End April 2021

Sewer Status

Just when we all assumed that the sewer problems in the Valley had gone away, we found out that they haven’t. After the recent dry weather, inspection pit levels had pretty much returned to normal levels and it was largely assumed that the problems had gone away.

However, late in the month it was discovered that the ‘back of houses’ sewer run that is opposite the Village Hall was full and close to overflowing.  The Boss Lane sewer, which it joins, is also dangerously full. TW have visited a few times, but other than pumping out one resident’s inspection pit, have simply checked levels and advised there is little they can do. We keep monitoring.

Ditch Clearance

On the 10th April, the day of the Village litter pick, a small group of volunteers gathered by the pumping station for a general clear-up of the ditches and culverts there.

The culverting where the stream runs under Valley Road was in much need of clearance of leaves, twigs and assorted rubbish.

Fortunately the ditch along towards the Village Hall was in better shape, although the ditch itself is quite deep and difficult to access. Having said that, a couple of hours work has left the area in much better shape. It’s something that we plan to do regularly from now on, perhaps two or three times a year.

Road Drains

After pestering Transport for Bucks via the FixMyStreet website, we have at last had some serious work done on the road drains through the Valley from Church Farm up to the end of Warrendene Road. Hopefully they are all in good order now.

DIG Website

The HVDIG website is no longer being updated. Although still there, the Home page and Blog advise that the web site is no longer being updated and to go to http://www.hughendenresidents.org/dig. 

Paul Woodford

3 May 2021

Spotted in the Valley

After months of requesting the road drains to be jetted and cleaned, something seems to be happening. A team from TfB was spotted mid-week cleaning in Valley Road.

We hope the work continues because a recent audit by a DIG team found that roughly 70 of the 100 or so road drains from Church Farm up to the end of Warrendene were partially or totally blocked.

Covid – a reminder from Bucks Council

Everyone’s hard work means the Government’s ‘roadmap’ is progressing but it’s essential that while so many people have yet to be vaccinated, we all keep going by fully sticking to the new rules. When meeting others socially, this must take place outside, either in a park, another open space or in private gardens. 

Please also remember to keep a distance from anyone you don’t live with. We still can’t mix with other households indoors (unless in a support bubble or for childcare purposes) and it’s critical to stick to this rule as you can catch COVID-19 far more easily inside than outside

We can now meet in groups of up to 6 people including children and babies, or groups of a larger size where it’s just two households getting together.

For more information about what the current rules are please check the government’s website.

Census 2021

From Bucks Council on 1st April:

Census work continues

Reminder letters have been sent and census officers are making follow-up visits to households that haven’t completed their census. If you’re contacted by a parishioner, here is some helpful information to reassure them:

  • The officers are there to help them.
  • Householders should ask to see their ID badge.
  • They will never ask to enter a property and will never ask for personal information or ask for a payment.
  • The officers are following government guidelines with PPE and are all being tested for Covid-19 every few days.

Please do also let people know that if they need help to complete the census they can call our trained library and adult learning staff on 0300 131 6000. There is also a national support line 0800 141 2021 and the Census 2021 website.

April Update

Audit of Drains

A small group of 4 within the DIG spent a busy couple of days in March carrying out an audit of the road drains from Church Farm right up through the village to the end of Warrendene Road. The result was that some 70 drains were blocked or partially blocked out of 100 or so. These were reported (individually) via the FixMyStreet website to TfB, and to their credit, the tops of all of them have been brushed since then. Actual cleaning/jetting may take a little longer – it’s only been a year so far.

DIG Website

The DIG website has been rebuilt and is now accessible from within the HVRA website, and adopts the same look and feel as the HVRA website. Take a look – it’s at www.hughendenresidents.org/dig although for the meanwhile the old website is still there at www.hvdig.org .

Status of Sewers

I think we can all breathe a sigh of relief in that the levels in our inspection pits have dropped and the risk of sewage escapes appear to be receding.

There have been two instances of the sewer junction at the corner of the pumping station leaking sewage, causing much consternation in the village. The DIG has written to Thames Water and requested for the inspection hatch to be replaced with a sealed lid. We wait to see if we get a positive answer.

Trees Road

We requested via FixMyStreet that the broken up road surface at the foot of Trees Rd be repaired as it was hazardous and leaving a semi-permanent pool of water there. This area has been quickly repaired, but it remains to be seen if the repair will prevent the pooling of water there – it’s meant to be able to run down the road to the nearest drain. We also need to speak with the water engineer to see if deeper soakaways are feasible there, as one of the soakaways completely overflowed in the last downpour.

Ditches & Culverts Group

We have set up a small group of volunteers for the ditches & stream area near the pumping station, as that is rather prone to accumulating rubbish. The first clean is planned for Saturday 10th April

We know also that for some years just one person has been looking after the ditch area opposite the Harrow, which is also prone to blocking up. It would be good to gather a few others to help out occasionally with that.

Agencies Update

Bucks Council have been successful in their bid regarding the Chilterns & Berkshire Downs Groundwater Resilience project. This means they will receive Defra funding for groundwater monitoring systems, which will include covering Hughenden Valley. A workshop will follow.

Thames Water has advised us that they are introducing a new planning system to replace their existing Drainage Strategy plans. (See the Little Marlow Drainage Strategy on the Documents page of the DIG website). The new planning system is referred to as a Groundwater Impacted System Management Plan (GISMP).

The GISMP’s focus is upon groundwater monitoring and the infiltration of groundwater into the sewage network. Where risk zones are identified it is planned to conduct fixes and improvement interventions within the normal maintenance cycle – presumably this means in the relative short term. Larger interventions will require budget and hence a longer cycle to resolve.