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Wootton Sewerage Problems, January 1957

Inquiry into £77,000 Scheme

An inquiry into Newport Town Council application for permission to borrow £77,000 for a sewage disposal works for the Wootton area was held at the Guildhall, Newport, on Tuesday 15th by Mr Trapp BSc. A.M.I.C.E. an inspector of the Ministry of Housing and Local Government. About two dozen member of the public attended it from the Wootton area and members of the town council. The clerk who said that the annual loan costs would be £6080 presented council’s case, and this would mean a net charge to the rates of 5.5 pence in the pound. Mr Chandler of the consulting engineers Lemon and Blizard explained details of the scheme. He said the existing sewers from the High Street, Station Road, Red Road, New Road, Spreets Copse and part of Palmers Road, drained into two outfalls, which in turn discharge into Wootton Creek just below the bridge, where it was causing a serious pollution problem. In the roads named, together with the unsewered Gravel Pit Road and Church Road area there were approximately 300 house [estimated, actual figure unreadable] with sites for another 170 [estimated, actual figure unreadable] houses. In summer visitors swelled the population of the village and it was estimated that provision for 2000 people should be made. The proposed scheme included extensions to 6the existing system in Church and Palmers Road area.

Better Of Two Schemes

Two methods of disposal had been considered; an outfall directly into the Solent or a disposal works giving full treatment. The first method had been adopted as the most practical and cost effective; it involved the construction of a twelve-inch diameter outfall 1000 yards long into the Solent opposite Woodside house. Float tests had proved that in all sea states including an onshore wind no sewerage would be carried to the beach. It was proposed to build a pumping near Wootton Bridge on land owned by the council to force the sewerage to a point near Woodside House where it flow to the outfall, running costs were estimate to be £425 per year. The proposals did not included sewerage from the Little Canada Holiday Camp assumed summer population of 400, but with the construction of a pumping station this could be lifted to the head of the gravity outfall; it would also be possible to link the camp at Woodside House [maximum 90 people] and the adjacent property of Underwood. The alternate proposal of a full treatment works would only coats a further £6/7000 pounds to build, but with the greater labour and maintenance costs involved the annual running costs would rise by a further 30%.

Residents Questions Mr Southin representing residents in New Road asked if the holiday camp would be connected; in response the town clerk said he would expect Little Canada to have a perfectly satisfactory system of their own, or they could make use of the proposed new scheme. The Rector, Rev. Genower, asked if residents of Church Road would be compelled to be connected to the proposed new sewerage system. The town clerk replied by saying that they would either have to have an acceptable system or be connected to the sewer. Mr Chandler in response to a question said the sea outfall represented half the cost of the work, Mr Darkin said that sea outfall was not the solution and would eventually have to be scrapped.

Medical Officer’s Concern

Giving evidence to the inquiry the Medical Office of Health [Dr. Mills], said that the problem of drainage in the area of Church Road had been causing concern for sometime. Two outfalls belonging to the council currently polluted the creek, and solid sewerage was washed onto the banks. There had been complaints from yacht owners because new paint on their boats was being fouled by sewerage. In Church Road over 40 houses were drained either by cesspools or septic tanks. Foul water from the cesspools found its way into depression in the ground by the side of the road, and from there into the ground on the eastern side of the highway; this together with the overflow from the septic tanks would eventually find its way into various streams running down to the creek This then became a potential source of contamination for cattle using the pastures. He cited the outbreak of para-typhoid fever in Wootton in 1946, in which a carrier could spread infection through the contents of the cesspool or septic tank finding its way to the surface. He agreed with Mr Southin that the tanks at Little Canada had not been increased in size even though the number of visitors had increased. The town clerk said the council had a letter from the camp assuring then that the situation was being monitored.

Fishermen Oppose, Rector Supports

Mr Adams representing the Southern Fisheries District said his committee were opposed to the discharge of untreated sewerage into tidal waters, and there should be full treatment. He agreed that the proposals were an improvement over the exist arrangements, but he believed that sewerage would still be deposited on the beach. The Rector said the problem of sewerage had aroused deep feeling in the district, in his 17 years in the village he had seen Church Road change from a lovely country lane to a built up area, and he often heard the phrase ‘stinking alley’. He said, the rectory, built in 1860 had a more efficient sewerage arrangement, than the houses built this century in Church Road. He also said, under the present arrangements it was not possible to have a toilet in the church hall in Church Road, but that would change if the proposed new sewerage system when ahead. Mr. Williams [builder] said he favoured a filtration plant, and submitted his own scheme, which he said could carried out for a third of the cost.

After some technical comments about Mr. William’s the scheme by Mr Chandler, the inspector said he would take these into consideration when making his recommendations.

Replying to the inspector, the town clerk said the council had taken a lease on the foreshore to allow better control over houseboats, some were regularly lived in and others arrived for the summer months. He also stated that the pumps in the proposed filtration system would break up the solid matter. After the hearing the inspector visited the area, decision will be announced later.

Source: Isle of Wight County Press

This page was last edited on: 26th January, 2022 17:50:47

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