Prior to 2011 Wreningham did not have a mains sewage system. Many properties had either single or shared septic tanks. Residents had to make their own arrangements for emptying these tanks. For some this was an on-going problem as they were continually having to arrange for the emptying of their septic tanks to significant cost and inconvenience.
In 2011 Anglia Water installed a “First time sewage system” in Wreningham as part of their policy to reduce the number of septic tanks in the region. Instead of a gravity driven system, this project introduced a vacuum sewage system to serve Church Road, Hethel Road, Ashwellthorpe Road and Wymondham Road.
These pipes converged on a new main sewage pipe at the top of Mill Lane near the school. A pumping station was built half way along Mill Lane. It maintains the vacuum (or low pressure) which draws the sewage into the next part of the system. Here gravity takes the sewage through a new pipe to a pre-existing installation situated by Stephens Road in Top Row.
How does it work?
Image from airvac.com
The sewage pipe from the house uses gravity to deliver sewage to the chamber. This will trigger the trap to access the vacuum in the main pipe. This will then draw the sewage out of the chamber and away towards the pumping station in Mill Lane and from there onto the installation in Top Row.
- An animated YouTube video which shows how the vacuum system works in general – https://flovac.com/how-vacuum-sewerage-works/
- A detailed explanation is here – https://www.airvac.com/en/vacuum-sewer-system
- and from Anglia Water, here.
Am I connected?
Whilst many decided to connect to the system at the time of installation, not all did.
One sign that you are connected is that the property will be in receipt of a regular sewage bills from Anglia Water!
The most obvious sign that you are connected is two part:
- A metal inspection cover for the below ground sewage chamber. This is often within the property’s curtilage, however some are in or near the road.
- Note this may be shared by up to 4 properties
- A silver coloured, metal, cylindrical pipe set vertically in the roadside verge outside/near your property. “Anglia Water” is inscribed in blue on it with a designation number e.g. “B1”.
- This pipe is the visible component of a vacuum trap which connects to a sewage pipe.
Who do I contact if it is not working correctly?
This sewage system is managed by Anglia Water. You will need to contact them in the event of any actual or apparent system failure:
Telephone: 0800 145 145 / Email: Customerservices@anglianwater.co.uk
Michael Hill, October 2023