Millions poured into protecting Keynsham's environment

Investment totalling £17 million is coming to Keynsham later this summer as projects to ensure the environment in and around the town continues to be protected get under way.

Wessex Water will carry out a brace of separate schemes to both reduce flooding and ensure the local sewer system continues to cope with an expanding population, starting in July of this year.

One of the projects has been designed to address long-standing issues with sewer flooding near the centre of Keynsham, with the other ensuring the processes for treating wastewater from the town continue to meet the highest environmental standards.

The £500,000 work is being timed to ensure the majority of it coincides with the school summer holidays, keeping disruption to local people to a minimum.

Meanwhile at the start of the same month, a two-year programme of improvements will get under way at the water recycling centre off Broadmead Lane, where £16.5 million is being invested to expand the site and allow further infrastructure to be installed.

Director of Engineering and Delivery at Wessex Water, Paul Lewis, said: “This is a significant boost to our wastewater systems in Keynsham that demonstrates both our determination to tackle specific flooding issues being faced locally and ensuring we can continue to safely treat the inevitable increase in sewage from a growing population.

“We’ve worked hard to find the best way to try and reduce the historical issues with flooding in the residential neighbourhood around Wellsway and the new relief sewer is the most effective and sensible solution to protect the environment.

“Meanwhile, the massive investment in the town’s water recycling centre will help ensure it can meet the increasing demands and deliver the added storage needed to prevent untreated water being released back into the environment.’’

The relief sewer project is scheduled to begin on Monday 24 July, following a request from the Highways team at Bath & North East Somerset Council that the bulk of the work coincide with the start of the school summer holidays.

The B3116 (Wellsway) will be closed to through traffic for up to 12 weeks while the work is carried out, with a diversion using the A39 and A4 roads in place.

Project manager Alex Aulds: “We have met with councils in both Keynsham and Saltford to better understand the impact this road closure will have and ensure the appropriate measures are in place to direct traffic on to the diversion route.

“We are also writing to residents, schools and businesses locally to make them aware of the project and working closely with Keynsham Cricket Club, near to the site of the project, to reduce the impact as much as possible.’’

The bulk of investment will see the town’s water recycling centre off Broadmead Lane being expanded to allow further infrastructure to be installed.

Additional equipment will ensure the centre can continue to treat more sewage and then safely return it to the environment, as well as ensuring the treatment of wastewater will continue to be carried out to the highest standards.

Project manager Kelvin Brick said: “The refurbishment will also further protect the environment by increasing the site’s capacity to store diluted storm water from combined sewer pipes carrying both rainwater and foul sewage following intense rainfall.

“This will help to reduce instances of storm overflows releasing such untreated water back into the environment automatically.’’

The project is taking place within and around the existing water recycling centre site and is expected to be completed by the spring of 2025.