Public Sewers coming to Carlton
At the annual parish meeting on the 8th May 2007 Mr Parsons, of Anglian Water was invited to talk to the village about the planned provision of foul sewers for Carlton. He introduced himself as the Planning Liaison Officer for first time connections to foul sewers. He noted that an application had been made a few years ago for foul sewers in the village and an assessment had been made. The criteria had been met and the proposal was now planned into Anglian Water’s 5-year program of works to be completed in 2009. Under S101A of the Water Act, Anglian Water have a legal duty to provide foul sewerage if an application is made and a problem had been found, so these works will now go ahead even if no-one agrees to connect to them.
Mr Parsons showed a map describing the area to be covered by the mains sewer, which follows the village envelope. This only covers Carlton (not Willingham Green, or Carlton Green) and did not cover the lowest houses:
Carlton Green and Willingham Green were not included in the assessment, and it is recommended if parishioners there were interested then they should request an assessment for inclusion in the next 5-year programme of works.
Equipment & Installation
The exact siting and nature of any sewerage treatment works or pumps will not be decided until the end of 2007. Obviously as Carlton is on a hill there would need to be one or the other at each low point (unless a vacuum system was used). However Mr Parsons indicated that these works are a lot smaller than they used to be, with pumps being small roadside cabinets, and treatment works being around 10m by 10m, with most of this being gravel to turn a tanker lorry on (to remove the sludge from the tanks).
Anglian water would prefer to negotiate for land in order to site pumping stations rather than acquiring it via compulsory purchase, however a third option would be to site small pumping stations on the verge. All the pipe work would be placed under the road (not the verge) and would take around 4-5 months to complete.
There will be a public exhibition in the village in 2008 to show householders the proposed design of the system.
At the time that the works are being undertaken each householder will be given the opportunity (via a form) to join the scheme. Anglian water is unusual in that they waive any connection fees if the householder joins at this time, and they therefore get connection rates of around 80-90% which is much higher than for other water companies. Another benefit is that they don't start charging for sewerage until 6 months after the spur has been laid to your garden, so you can get 6 months free sewerage if you connect quickly (but you will be charged from 6 months, even if you haven't got around to connecting).
If you agree to join, then Anglian Water supplies a spur from their main pipe free of charge to the boundary of your property (as long as that spur is less than 15 metres long). The location of this spur would be negotiated with the householder. It is up to the householder to arrange and pay for a builder to connect their sewers under their garden to the spur at the boundary and to ensure that this is approved by the buildings regulations inspector. Mr Parsons recommends using local builders as they would be cheaper than the national contractors they use. Existing tanks could be filled in, or used to store surface rainwater.
You do not have to agree to join the scheme during the installation phase, but if you subsequently decide to join then you would be charged the full connection costs for creating a new spur.
Anglian Water do not make any efforts to force householders to connect, but some other authority (for example Environmental Health Departments) may subsequently insist on an expensive connection if your system is deemed to be unsanitary. Mr Parsons recommended that villagers talk to the Environmental Health Officer at the Council about their current position. He did point out that mains sewers will be maintained indefinitely, whereas householders individual systems may need maintenance and replacement after about 25 years.
There would be no connection charge, but a standing charge would be made of around £30-40 and sewerage would be charged at about 90% of the cost of water supplied, so roughly a doubling of your current water bill. You do not have to have a water meter, but Anglian Water would encourage the use of meters. Those householders who believe that they return much less than 90% of their supplied water to the mains sewage system (for example using a lot of water for horticulture) could in theory negotiate with Anglian Water's billing department.
Mr Parsons was asked if the provisions of mains sewerage would open the floodgates for more houses to be built in Carlton. Mr Parsons noted that they do not plan for new houses when designing the system, but merely cater for those that currently exist. Also the system will only cover the area of the current village envelope.