Ipswich: Sewer damage worse than predicted

The number of engineers handling emergency sewer repair work has been doubled after the extent of the damage was discovered.

Anglian Water have been digging in Defoe Road for the past week after closing it for emergency repairs.

The work comes after a long section of sewer became blocked with cement while building work at a house nearby was under way.

A spokesman for Angilan Water said the damage was more severe than they hoped and the road could be closed for up to two months.

He said: “We are still at an early stage but on the scale of how bad the damage is, it is worse than hoped. We have two repair teams on site now and we hope to be able to open parts of the road as and when we can.”

He said the works were due to exceptional and unusual set of circumstances.

The closures currently in place are on the junction of Defoe Road and Chepstow Road, where the damaged sewer is, and on the junction between Chepstow Road and Epsom Drive. Diversions are being put in place.

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The number of engineers handling emergency sewer repair work has been doubled after the extent of the damage was discovered.

Anglian Water have been digging in Defoe Road for the past week after closing it for emergency repairs.

The work comes after a long section of sewer became blocked with cement while building work at a house nearby was under way.

A spokesman for Angilan Water said the damage was more severe than they hoped and the road could be closed for up to two months.

He said: “We are still at an early stage but on the scale of how bad the damage is, it is worse than hoped. We have two repair teams on site now and we hope to be able to open parts of the road as and when we can.”

He said the works were due to exceptional and unusual set of circumstances.

The closures currently in place are on the junction of Defoe Road and Chepstow Road, where the damaged sewer is, and on the junction between Chepstow Road and Epsom Drive. Diversions are being put in place.

Antony Innes, of Anglian Water, said the road could be closed for anywhere between two weeks and two months depending on the severity of damage.

Since being alerted to the problem, the water company has been using tankers to take sewage away from the 200 or so properties served by the sewer and it will instead be pumped through an over-land pipe into a manhole further along the sewer.

Mr Innes said: “Unfortunately, at this stage we cannot be sure how long this repair work will take.

“The sewer runs between four and five metres deep, making it very hard to predict the extent of the damage until our engineers are able to dig down and see what we are dealing with.

“This is clearly not an ideal situation for our customers or road users.

“However this is an exceptional and unfortunate set of circumstances and we need to repair the damage as quickly as possible.”

The Rev Andrew Dotchin, of St Mary and St Botolph Church and who lives in Defoe Road, said: “If anything, the roadworks mean that the area is quieter because the drivers that normally use it as a rat run aren’t able to.

“We have definitely noticed a difference. And if the workmen want to pop into the rectory for a cup of tea, they are always welcome.”