A MAJOR project to repair and replace a faulty 250 metre section of sewer in Farnham Park serving north Farnham and the Folly Hill estate has been completed sooner than planned.

Over the Christmas period, Thames Water suffered a major failure of its foul sewer which runs through Farnham’s medieval park, flooding public footpaths with raw sewage and contaminating a stream feeding into the River Wey.

This was made worse by the fact the damaged sections were located close to homes in Shady Nook, and it was the residents living in this area who bore the majority of the disruption and inconvenience.

However, Waverley Borough Council leader and Upper Hale councillor Julia Potts has announced the utility company has completed the works - a month earlier than anticipated.

Miss Potts said: “Following a site meeting with Thames Water and the various contractors, I am delighted to be able to report the foul sewer replacement and repair works have been completed and the sewer is now in full operation once more.

“The majority of the sections affected have been replaced with an iron pipe system which is incredibly robust and long lasting, and a short section through a particularly sensitive section of veteran trees has been replaced with a plastic pipe using a pipe bursting technique where the new pipe is fed up the old breaking it out as it goes.

“With these works completed the work on restoring the site have begun.”

The restoration works are expected to last for approximately three weeks, including the removal of all site cabins, generators, machinery and equipment, excess soil and “woody matter” from the site, as well as a temporary HGV access track through the park.

Miss Potts continued: “Once the restoration works are completed all imported materials will have been removed and the park returned to as close as possible to its prior condition, that is to say the area will be allowed to revegetate through natural regeneration.

“The area will be monitored and if appropriate the intention will be to undertake some tree planting in the coming winter to fill in any gaps in the tree canopy. It is also our intention to plant a wildlife hedge along the park boundary which in time will be laid similar to the Avenue Hedgerow.”

Miss Potts added she hopes to arrange a site meeting with councillors, Friends of Farnham Park, residents associations and interested parties prior to signing the work off and Thames Water leaving the site. A letter has also been sent out to all residents of Shady Nook updating them on the works.

She said: “Clearly this has been an enormous and complex task and I would like to thank all parties involved in working collaboratively together to ensure we have achieved the right outcome for the local community and Farnham Park going forward.”