Emergency sewerage repairs in Boscombe are expected to take a number of months to complete as Wessex Water carries out work on pipework deep underground.
In October a sewer in Percy Road collapsed, following subsidence in the area, and the road has remained closed since with a local diversion in place.
Ground investigation work and inspections of other infrastructure in the area has showed that groundwater and sand was getting into a short section of larger sewer in the same area, known as the Bournemouth coastal interceptor sewer (CIS).
The sewer is 18 metres below ground and takes flows to Holdenhurst sewage treatment works, in Bournemouth.
Wessex Water said that while the coastal interceptor sewer is currently operating as normal, it was essential that maintenance work was carried out.
James Rider, chief operating officer for Wessex Water, said: “Following subsidence, we closed Percy Road last month and during the last month arranged for essential services, including water and gas mains, to be diverted as a precaution. As part of our investigation work we found that as well as repairing the collapsed sewer in Percy Road, we also need to be carry out essential repairs to a large sewer deep below the ground. This will inevitably mean that our sewerage repairs will take longer than we initially anticipated. While there may appear to be little happening on the ground, we have specialist engineers working in the 1.8-metre diameter sewer that is deep below ground. Temporary pipework to allow repairs to be carried out, an overland pipe will be installed so Wessex Water can maintain sewerage services. The temporary pipe will run from an access point at Boscombe Chine Gardens to Montague Road. It will be laid along Boscombe Promenade and Boscombe Overcliff Drive – a distance of around 2.4km.
Mr Rider said: “We have chosen a route for the pipeline that avoids major roads to minimise disruption to the area. While we appreciate that this may cause some inconvenience, using a temporary overland pipe will mean we can complete repairs to both Percy Road and to the larger sewer.”
Sections of pipe will be laid in the area during late November and December with repairs to the major sewer anticipated to be completed around February next year. Work will then start on the collapsed sewer in Percy Road and repairs to the road surface.
Wessex Water has discussed its proposals with Bournemouth Borough Council and the Environment Agency and kept local people informed.
Mr Rider added: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused by our emergency repair work and thank local residents for their continued patience.”
While Percy Road remains closed, motorists should continue to follow the official diversion route which is via Michelgrove Road, Boscombe Cliff Road and Byron Road.
For more information visit www.wessexwater.co.uk/PercyRd