Practical Steps to Protect Norfolk’s Waterways

Wetland sites could be the way forward for sewage treatment after huge success in Norfolk. Last year, Anglian Water installed a wetland pool beside their sewage treatment plant at Ingoldisthorpe near King’s Lynn, as an alternative to a carbon-heavy storage facility. The innovative pools are the first of their kind in the UK, setting an example for other water companies across the country.

How does it work?

Water is pumped from the treatment plants into each of the four shallow pools that make up the wetland. The plants in each of the pools filter the water, naturally removing pollutants such as phosphates and ammonia, which can lead to water pollution. Using this process, the wetland filters a million litres of water a day from the natural pools, which then flows into the River Ingol and out to sea at Snettisham. 

Further environmental benefits

As well as avoiding the need for an expensive carbon-heavy storage facility, the wetland is incredibly biodiverse. The 25,000 plants in and around the pools include 14 different native Norfolk species, such as marsh marigold, purple loosestrife, water mint and flowering rush. These flowers create a vibrant landscape and also entice insects, birds, amphibians, bats and water voles to the area.

The wildlife in the pools has encouraged educational visits from local schools, with the Norfolk Rivers Trust planning to continue more social engagement following the positive response to its joint project with Anglian Water.

A new way forward?

Anglian Water has put forward an application for the creation of 30 more wetland pools across the East of England. Provided they gain approval from water regulator Ofwat and the Environment Agency, the new wetland sites could be installed under the Water Industry National Environment Programme (WINEP), making sewage treatment more sustainable across East Anglia. 

From drain to sea with Drain Doctor

Whilst the wetlands at Ingoldisthorpe are a huge step forward, we can all do our bit to protect Norfolk’s waterways. Take a look at our top tips for minimising water pollution, or get in touch to enquire about Anglia Drain Doctor’s off-mains drainage solutions. Our sewage treatment plants have an extremely low carbon footprint and can be safely and naturally channelled into local waterways.

Image Credit: The Rivers Trust