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Subsidence pipe unchecked for 2 years? Why?

Reported in the Footpath / pavement problem category anonymously at 18:10, Tuesday 11 August 2020

Received by Buckinghamshire Council moments later

Could you you tell me why Transport for Bucks and Bucks Council never came back to chec the pipe utside 23 chapel road which was repaired in december 2018? It was left unchecked for 2 years whilst water dripped under the house? No one checked and only when a major subsidence incident happened are Thames Water now coming back to check in conjunction with the local council Data/ BCC%20Chepping%20Wye%20Valley%20Local%20Area%20Forum/ 201902061900/ Agenda/ transport%20for%20buckinghamshire%20update.pdf#search=%22chapel%20road%20subsidence%22

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  • Thank you for your report which is currently under review.
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    Transport for Buckinghamshire

    Posted by Buckinghamshire Council at 18:10, Tuesday 11 August 2020

  • 17 July 2020

    Our Ref: 33439262

    Mains Replacement

    Thank you for your emails of 8 July, about the mains replacement outside 23 Chapel Road.

    Whilst we’re not aware of any generic plan to replace all the mains in Flackwell Heath in 2017, it may be that this was considered as part of our mains replacement programme, but was decided against at the time. It may be helpful to explain, approximately 64% of the pipes in our entire water network are cast iron, with evidence showing that cast iron mains generally have a lifespan which far exceeds their original life expectancy. Whilst any water infrastructure is not without risk of failure, there is an inherent reliability in the overwhelming majority of the existing cast iron network.

    Mains replacement is considered on a case by case basis dependant on many factors. While our 5-year plan may include a great many areas for consideration, only some of those will be scheduled for repair. There are several reviews in the process of consideration, and those that are put forward are subject to a rigorous validation whereby resources are targeted to where we believe are the areas of greatest need.

    Local to Chapel Road, the majority of the mains on the neighbouring estate are cast iron, with the exception of Carrington Avenue and part of Highfield Road where the existing cast iron main was replaced with HPPE (High Performance Polyethylene: HPE) pipes in 2018. This work will have been carried out under our previous 5-year programme.

    The section of the main that unfortunately failed in Chapel Lane outside your property was replaced during the repair, and the rest is scheduled for replacement in the next 6 months. It’s important to mention, however, this timeframe is subject to change as a result of unforeseen circumstances.

    Whilst costs always have to be factored in to any proactive repair and replacement programme, as Thames has a limited budget for all such works funded ultimately from the proceeds of the annual bills our customers pay, cost was not an overriding factor in determining the timing of replacement of the main running outside your property, which is now in the programme for replacement. To confirm, the mechanism by which the main failed at the front of your property is unclear but it may itself have been triggered by ground movement. Whilst HPE has flexibility in comparison to the more brittle cast iron, it too can fail where ground movement creates voids and removes support from the pipework over time. We will be undertaking some assessment of the carriageway in conjunction with the local council to seek to better understand the risk of future ground movement which could stress even the replacement pipework.

    Should you’ve any further queries or concerns in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact me on 0800 009 3932. I’m usually available between 9am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.

    Yours sincerely Senior Case Manager

    Posted anonymously at 18:13, Tuesday 11 August 2020

  • NB. 'Large void' and "We believe excessive water was running from the burst pipe on Chapel Road combined with the broken surface water pipe, were obvious contributing factors for the subsidence and carriageway failure." Quote from Transport for Bucks.....why did you not do a follow up check a few months later or 6 months later?

    Posted anonymously at 18:18, Tuesday 11 August 2020

  • Photos from January 28th 2018 of water pooling not draining correctly??!!

    Photo with cones from November 26th 2018 - carriageway failure and extensive subsidence??!!

    Dear Bucks Council et al (Thames Water, Transport for Bucks, Highways etc), Please direct your reply to MP Joy Morrissey

    Thanks so much.

    Posted anonymously at 17:04, Friday 21 August 2020

  • We have contacted you separately regarding this, and this enquiry is now closed.
    Transport for Buckinghamshire

    State changed to: Closed

    Posted by Buckinghamshire Council at 12:51, Wednesday 26 August 2020

This report is now closed to updates. You can make a new report in the same location.