Durham City Sewer Network Improvements

We are planning work to improve the performance of the sewer network in Durham City and improve your environment.

Project updates

Update by Colin Butler

Me again,


The photographs that I didn't attach earlier... (It is a Monday)


Best Regards



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Update by Colin Butler

Good Morning,


It feels like the recent spell of glorious weather may have broken and as usual, it couldn't be at a worse time. Just as we have began our bulk excavation in earnest, the rain has arrived. Please be extra vigilant if you happen to be around the Flassburn Road/Whitesmocks area in the next fortnight or so as you will notice a definite increase in volume of traffic. Our excavation calls for circa 275 wagons of spoil to be exported, 108 of which have gone already. Continuing our collaborative approach, we were pleased to engage our framework partners ESH who will be removing 90 or so loads in the next week or so for re-import at the end of the job; you should have no trouble spotting their big green wagons!

As always, please don't hesitate to drop me a line on or give me a call on 07814785021. Alternatively, my colleague Sarah-Jayne will also be happy to answer any queries. You can find her on

Best Regards,



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Update by Dave Groark

Good morning everyone, I hope you all had a good weekend enjoying the nice weather.

As you might have seen, we began to install the sheet piles to support the excavation for the underground storage tanks in Flass Vale last Tuesday. We’ve made good progress this week and hope to continue this over the next couple of weeks. I’ve attached two short video clips which show what we are doing. We have tried to minimise the impact of the work by using a technique which pushes the piles into the ground, rather than driving them in with a hammer or vibrating them and hopefully the first clip (with the pound coin in the foreground) lets you see what sort of vibration levels we are seeing.

I hope this is helpful and we’ll post further updates as work proceeds.

Best regards,


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Update by Sarah Jayne Vickers

Afternoon All, just a quick reminder that whilst our works are ongoing could you please keep in mind that the foot paths are closed and public access should not be attemped. 

Thank you for your cooperation.

Sarah Vickers

PS enjoy to lovely weather over the weekend!

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Update by Colin Butler

Good Afternoon,


A quick progress update:

You'll have noticed an increase in activity as of yesterday and the arrival of a 40 ton, telescopic crawler crane. The crane is working in conjunction with our silent pile press and is assisting in the installation of 10m length sheet piles. The Sheet piles the crane is currently installing will form a permanent retaining structure within the vale.

I have attached a video snippet of the silent pile press in action. I have to say, this being the first time I have worked with this bit of kit, I am suitably astonished as to just how quiet the operation is.

 As ever, with any queries please don't hesitate to contact me on or indeed my colleague Sarah on and we'd be more than happy to assist where we can.


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Update by Sarah Jayne Vickers

Good afternoon, quick update with the progress of works. Over the last week or so we excavated the launch pit and inserted a thrust block for the machinery which installed the drain pipe using trenchless technology. Next Tuesday we plan on removing the temporary these works, this may cause some increase in volume activity as we break out the concrete thrust block. We will try to keep this noise to a minimum, we expect to take around 2 hours and will conduct this after 10am.

Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sarah Jayne Vickers

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Update by Sarah Jayne Vickers

Afternoon All, just wanted to let you know me and Joan have been out with the Friends of Flass Vale gang, what a lovely bunch of people. They didn’t expect too much of us today, we were given a grand tour of the vale by Val, and she showed us the hard work people had put into the area and the other hard work that is going to be needed over the coming months.  

We also bumped into Nicola on our way to meet the Friends of Flass Vale, who was at the allotments she allowed us a little look around. I have included some of the photos and think the face carvings are fantastic.

As well as helping in the vale, we also posted some letters to several properties located close to the site compound to inform them of the progress, and what they can expect to see next. I have pasted this below for your info.

I look forward to working with the Friends of Flass Vale over the coming months whilst our project is ongoing.


                                                                                                                 Spectrum 5

                                                                                            Spectrum Business Park


                                                                                                                Co. Durham

                                                                                                                    SR7 7TT

Our Ref:         SN017/0224   

Date:               16th May 2018            


Dear Customer


We want to keep you up to date with work in your area.


You may have noticed increased activity recently, particularly in terms of vehicular movements. We are nearing the end of importing quarried limestone to provide working platforms and an access road for our sheet piling works. These works are due to start in mid-June and will involve a piling press and a crawler crane. As these are large items of plant they require a substantial working platform.

Before we progress with this large operation we have some tunnelling work to carry out. We will install a 40m long tunnel, which will be 375mm diameter and located under garden land on Flass Burn Road. A manhole will be constructed so we can tie this into the existing sewerage network.

We will keep you regularly updated with progress and thank you for your continued patience. You can also find out more information about our project on our community portal at and following the link to ‘Durham City Sewer Network Improvements’ page. Regular updates will also be posted there and you will find advice and answers to some frequently asked questions.


If you require any further information or advice please contact our Customer Centre on 0345 717 1100 or visit to request a call back from the project team.


Yours sincerely


David Groark

Project Manager


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Update by Sarah Jayne Vickers

Good morning All, another quick update to show you the progress we have made prepping the site.

We’ve had approximately 850 tonnes of a projected 2100 of quarried limestone which is used to provide a structurally designed access track and working platforms for the silent piling press which is due to commence in mid-June. The Limestone is compacted by a roller, each delivery truck carries 20 ton, and these deliveries have taken place since last week and continue to arrive. (We would like to thank all the residents as we understand this is a lot of additional heavy traffic and noise.)

The silt fencing and barley bales around the boundary are mitigation for any potential siltation to the watercourse from surface water run-off and have been implemented by MMB. We have also have the sedimats we’ve placed in the stream bed. These are designed to capture any silt that does enter and are fully bio-degradable so when they are fully silted up they can be placed on the bank of the stream.

Please see below a number of pictures i took on my visit, my favourite is the rock being released by the truck, as well as the beautiful woodland in the background.

Happy weekend 

Sarahjayne Vickers 


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Update by Sarah Jayne Vickers

Good morning Ladies and Gents, I have just had an update from the team up on site.

'We have just finished setting up our site boundaries and cabin, this week we will be starting on the temporary combined sewer diversion'

They also included some photos of the site currently, what a difference from when i first visited a number of weeks ago. Space looks a lot larger than i had imagined.

We will keep you posted on progress as we move forward in the project on a regular basis. In the meantime if there any issues please contact me on here or via email

Thanks for your patience




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Update by Joan Tatters

Good Afternoon Everyone,

Sarah and I braved the April showers yesterday and visited Flass Vale. The weather was just awful which meant the site guys were limited on what work the could do. Due to it's location we were able to see the full site from the Heras fencing; currently located round the perimeter for health and safety. The foliage clearance has created the sense of more space and relocating the trees and shrubs has been very sensitively done within the Vale I'm so pleased to say.

Colin had pointed out to me there was to be a road closure by DCC on Fieldhouse Lane for the next three days, their contractor will be resurfacing the road, from Whitesmock to Back Western Hill so please be that little more vigilant.

Don't forget if you want to ask us any questions about our project just drop us a blog.

Thanks for your patience.

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