Work is under way to lay a huge new sewer in Hemel Hempstead as part of a more proactive approach by Thames Water’s developer services team.
The sewer will serve 357 new homes currently being built in the town, and will also cater for an expected 600 further dwellings expected over the next few years.
The £2.3m scheme, which is being delivered by the major projects team, has involved digging up a football pitch to lay 70 metres of 2.8-metre-diameter pipe, and is part of the developer services’ new drive to help enable growth across the region.
Scott Jago, senior construction engineer, said: “In the past we have tended to be reactive, but we’re now trying to be more proactive and strategic in our work.
“It’s an approach we call ‘smart network solutions’. The area has grown and the local sewer network is approaching its capacity. Work hasn’t yet started on the second development but we’re confident it will go ahead, so it makes sense to install a sewer with enough capacity to serve it now.
“This will avoid returning and causing more disruption in a few years’ time. It will also minimise inconvenience for a local football team, whose pitch we’ve had to dig up in order to lay the new sewer.”
This section of the pipe, wide enough for a man to stand in, will act as storage capacity during periods of heavy rainfall, allowing flows to be held back and released into the local sewer network at a later point.
The four-month scheme, which also involves moving high-voltage and telecommunications cables, is expected to be completed by Christmas.
Developer Services – part of the Infrastructure Alliance – is this year involved in constructing 60 schemes through its major projects team, and the Hemel Hempstead sewer is one of the biggest.