A four-month, £500,000 project to stop homes in Dereham being flooded with sewage during heavy rain will get underway on Monday.

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Anglian Water will install a pumping station and bury a 588 cubic metre tank under Neatherd Moor to resolve years of complaints from nearby residents about flooding when sewers are overwhelmed during sudden downpours.

The company will dig a 5m deep, 14m by 14m hole for the concrete tanks, which will fill with water during peak times that is then released when the system is no longer under strain.

Dereham mayor Linda Monument, who represents Dereham Neatherd on Breckland Council, said: “I think that from time to time people have complained bitterly that Anglian Water has not done anything, and what can they do about it.

“It should make an enormous difference because with that capacity below the ground we should be able to get rid of excess water on days like this.

“For Anglian Water to initiate a suggestion on this scale is very gratifying because they think it should solve problems that arise very suddenly and intermittently.”

A section of the moor will be cordoned off to allow the works to be completed safely, but the nearby playground will still be available for use throughout the installation.

Carole McCleary, who lives in Crown Road, said: “I would say if it’s just to help the sewage it’s got to be a good thing. If there’s disruption for four months that’s what it’s going to be.”

Antony Innes, from Anglian Water, said: “Sewer flooding can be very unpleasant, so we’re pleased work can start to significantly reduce the chances of this happening to properties near Neatherd Moor, where there has been a problem in the past.

“Once complete, this project will provide the extra capacity in our network to deal with increased flows through our sewers following heavy rain and give customers in the area extra peace of mind.”

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