Anglian Water working ‘tirelessly’ to sort sewage problem and flooding in Linslade causing residents sleepless nights

Waste water is having to be pumped into the River Ouzel at Linslade as an emergency measure to protect homes and businesses from flooding and sewage issues.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 5:24 pm
Waste water being extracted from the pumping station in Mardle Road

Due to heavy rainfall recently, excessive surface water has contributed to overspill in the sewers, and water company officials have been forced to request special permission from the Environment Agency to keep the situation under control.

Anglian Water insists they are doing all they can to tackle the problems which have so far lasted several weeks.

It has had to attend the pumping station in Mardle Road which has been overwhelmed, meaning blocked toilets for customers. The ongoing solution has been to surface pump excess water from the sump tank which has prompted additional complaints from residents about noise pollution.

One resident, who declined to be named, said: “Local residents living across from the sump tank have been patiently putting up with the continuous on/off noise disruption with the truck engines and the wailing pumps morning, noon and night.

“What we know so far from workmen on site is that due to the bad weather, all the local surface water has been running into Tiddenfoot Lake. Now the lake is overflowing, the local water table has risen so high that it’s now flooding into the sewers.

“The workmen don’t know where the water is entering into the sewers, the sewers can’t cope and the sump tanks in the area are filling quicker than they are emptying, thus why locals are having problems flushing their toilets and why there is a fleet of trucks emptying the sumps.”

He added: “In the meantime, the Environment Agency has given Anglian Water a permit to pump the cocktail of household waste, sewage and the excessive water into the River Ouzel. This is quite alarming to hear and would certainly impact the ecosystem of all aquatic life and surrounding vegetation.”

Addressing residents’ concerns, an Anglian Water spokesperson said: “An overpump is currently in operation at our pumping station on Mardle Road, Leighton Buzzard, to help relieve pressure on our waste water network which has been overwhelmed due to recent high volume of wet weather in the area. This excess water has inundated the sewer network, rather than there being a specific problem with the network itself.

“Our sewers are simply not designed to take this volume of excess water, nor is it possible to tanker away the sheer amount of water when a river is in flood. Our teams have been working tirelessly across the region over the past two months to keep our network running as well as possible.

“To help alleviate the issues at Mardle Road we have agreed additional overpumping capacity with the Environment Agency to take some of the excess water away and to help customers in the area.”

Explaining the issuing of the permit, a spokesperson from the Environment Agency said: “In order to prevent foul water from entering homes and businesses, Anglian Water has asked the Environment Agency for permission to temporarily discharge weak excess sewage water into the River Ouzel from Mardle Road in Leighton Buzzard.

“These discharges are essential to protect residents and will take place in accordance with strict conditions relating to flow rate and water quality. We will continue to monitor water quality on a daily basis.”

The Environment Agency have given Anglian Water a Local Enforcement Position (LEP) which explains in detail the strict conditions. The LEP can be revoked at any time if the strict conditions are not being met or the discharge is no longer necessary.

Anglian Water’s permit with the Environment Agency has been condemned by a local councillor who says she is concerned about the impact on the ecosystem of all aquatic life and surrounding vegetation.

Leighton-Linslade and Central Bedfordshire Independent councillor Victoria Harvey said: “It is a major problem for wildlife that the Environment Agency is still giving permits. I really hope the government’s new Environment Bill will tighten this up and protect our rivers.”

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