Burst sewer pipe in Bognor Regis: Pipe repaired after 'massive' 76 tanker operation

A burst sewer pipe in Bognor Regis has been repaired after a ‘massive’ 76-tanker operation which took place over several days.
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The pipe, located in a field near Yapton road, burst late at night on May 16 and teams arrived shortly afterwards to contain the spilled sewage.

Working through the night and over several days in one of the largest operations on the company’s record, a fleet of 76 tankers transported tonnes of effluence to alternative outflows throughout the area.

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Now, a Southern Water spokesperson has confirmed the works are complete.

A clean-up effort is now underwayA clean-up effort is now underway
A clean-up effort is now underway

"This has been a challenging and complex operation,” they explained. "Tankers are now moving out of the area. Some will be kept in the area as a contingency measure to be sure the repair is holding under the high pressure in the pipe. A clean up operation on the field close to the burst is now underway.”

Despite claims that the repairs were completed "without releasing wastewater into the environment”, Beachbuoy – a Southern Water tool providing real-time updates on pollution incidents – reports that six sewage releases were authorised in Bognor Regis, Felpham, Middleton and Aldwick while the tanker operation was taking place.

Three of them were authorised yesterday morning (May 18) and lasted for 0.45 hours. The remaining three took place at all the same locations save Middleton on the evening of May 17. They lasted 18.25 hours each.

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At the same time, warning notices were placed at each beach in order to provide residents with more information about the incident. Arun District Council also released warning signs, urging swimmers to stay away from the sea due to an increased risk of reduced water quality for the duration of the works.

One of the warning signs placed along shores in Bognor RegisOne of the warning signs placed along shores in Bognor Regis
One of the warning signs placed along shores in Bognor Regis

Even so, Southern Water claims the situation could have been considerably worse. A spokesperson explained that, by mobilising such a large response and orchestrating the repairs overnight, the company avoided a major pollution incident. They added that the, if the pipe was knocked, blocked or further damaged during the operation it would no longer be possible to control the flow – leading to even more flooding and more potential damage to land and property.

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