Are they protecting our local river?

Well, the Environment Agency say they are. You can read all about how they are maintaining the River Bure and protecting us all from flooding, by downloading this document if you follow this link.

But in other recent news according to this article, the Environment Agency has reported that there have been 400,000 releases of raw sewage into our rivers in the last year nationwide. And this briefing paper published by the House of Commons in December 2020 reports that Anglian Water – our local sewage treatment company – had over 10,000 releases of raw sewage with a total duration of over 133,000 hours, in 2019.

Google Earth photo of the Aylsham sewerage works on the River Bure

And for those of you who might be asking how does that affect me, this Google Earth photo of the Aylsham sewerage works run by Anglian Water shows just how close they are to us. The thin line between the works and the river is the release point for ‘treated’ sewage. Land to the right (east) of the river is the parish of Burgh and Tuttington.

The latest version of the Greater Norwich Local Plan (GNLP) – which has a major influence of new housing developments in Aylsham – suggests that an additional 550 houses are expected to be built in the coming years. The first stop for treatment of sewage generated by families in the new houses of Aylsham will be our good old sewerage works by the Bure.

But another report produced by Create Consulting Engineers Ltd (CCE) in 2018 concluded that the Anglian Water sewerage works in Aylsham had spare capacity for just an additional 100 houses. You don’t need to be an Einstein to do the Math(s) as they say…

It’s a good job that your local Parish Council spotted this one because in the latest GNLP consultation, the Burgh and Tuttington Parish Council made a formal submission pointing this little problem out.

To be fair, the Environment Agency are doing their best and so far they have not reported any significant releases of raw sewage from the Aylsham plant into the River Bure. So far…