These notes have been taken from the transcript
of that meeting:-
HISTORY AND OUTLINE OF THE COUNCIL'S
Work of Night Soil Collections in the Parishes of Long Melford and Bures
St. Mary has long been carried out and the Scheme has, since the end of
the War, been extended to embrace the Parishes of G-lemsford and Great
Cornard. The Council engage a Contractor to undertake the work in Bures
St. Mary at a cost of approximately £250 per annum..
Medical Officer of Health, Melford RDC
BURES ST. MARY
The sanitary system of Bures in the main consists of pail closets, a few
cesspools and open drains, none of which from a health point of view are
in any way acceptable. Here, the greatest cause for alarm is the effluent
from the Cuckoo Hill Slaughterhouse. A covered drain from the actual slaughterhouse
leads to what was originally designed to a baffle and trap. This is no
longer effective, the result being that a stinking mixture of hair, entrails,
bowel content, blood, etc, pour directly into the River Stour, This too
at the point whore the road bridge crosses the river. This influx, which
contains also the overflow of several cesspools, is quite noticeable at
the point mentioned by reason of the discolouration of the river.
The work of the "Night soil" man was particularly hazardous
from a medical point of view. The personnel would have to handle the soil,
which would in the event of an outbreak of an intestinal disease run a
considerable risk of contracting something much more serious. In hot weather
it results in fly-breeding and the resultant foul smell.
Medical Officer of Health. Halstead
The majority of the houses in the Parish of Bures Hamlet are situated
close to the River Stour opposite the village of Bures St.Mary,
In the area to be served by the proposed works there are 93 properties,
of which 63 drain to the river. Of these 79 are dwelling-houses of which
50 drain to the river.
There are 68 bucket closets and 1 privy in the area.
The area has a piped water supply, 55 premises being connected, and 32
obtain their supplies from standpipes.
The Maltings are the only industrial premises of note in the area. They
take 350,000 gallons of water per annum, of which the greater part drains
ultimately to the river.
During the past 26 years there has been no noteworthy outbreak of infectious
disease in the Parish.
The above details, in my opinion, clearly prove the need of the installation
of a sewage disposal scheme in the interest of health and especially for
the prevention of river pollution.
PARISH OF BURES ST. MARY
On the proposed lines of sewers are 166 houses, with 30 water closets,
134 pail closets and 2 privies, 27 houses are drained to cesspools and
31 have baths. The pail closets are emptied under Contract once par week,
There is room for a further 32 houses on the Council's existing Housing
A main drain runs from Cuckoo Hill down the length of the High Street
to discharge under water in the centre of the River Stour by the road
bridge. The drainage from a Government Slaughterhouse enters this drain
at its upper end, in times of low water and sluggish flow a most offensive
odour comes from the river at this point, giving rise to complaints from
the Parish Council, the London Angler's Association and the general public.
Last year the condition of the river at the Bridge was exceptionally bad,
the bodies of hundreds of large fish floating on the surface at one period,
A second drain runs from the Church along the Nayland Road to discharge
into the river below Messrs C.H.Hitchcock's Mill. This drain takes many
thousands of gallons of hot dye-water from the Stour Valley DyeWorks
The Council is contemplating having to instal a small disposal plant to
serve the new estate on the Nayland Road, otherwise further development
there will not be possible. The existing Post-War houses are served by
The piped sewer is approx 160 yards long and runs from a settlement
tank in the allotment gardens near to Station Rd and runs past the Eight
Bells Inn, across the Colchester Rd through the disused Gas Works yard
and discherges via a 9" pipe directly into the river.
This pipe is approx 150 yds due south of the road crossing bridge.
The open sewer ditch is approximately 100 yards long and 2 feet wide,
and it runs at the rear of Bridge Street properties and discharges into
the River Stour at a point at the rear of Bridge Maltings 52 yards North
(upstream) of the highway bridge over the River.
The sewer brook is approximately 470 yards long and 5 ft. 6 ins, wide
in the Bures Hamlet Village Area to be served by the proposed Scheme.
It flows from the West of the village in a North Easterly direction from
Brickfield Cottages near the Station Maltings through a 3 ft. 3 ins. brick
culvert under the railway embankment, and reappears in Brook Street, continuing
down Brook Street, through the gardens of the dwelling known as The Garth,
and discharges into the River Stour at a point 130 yards North (upstream)
of the highway bridge over the River. Approximately 150 yards of the brook
are culverted and 320 yards are open.
A 9 inches diameter piped sewer receiving drainage from Brook Street properties
runs alongside the brook to a point East of the dwelling known as The
Garth and North of Secretaries Farm, where it discharges into the brook
Bures St Mary
There are 227 houses in the Parish of which 224 are served by pail closets.
The Council propose to construct a further 44 houses in the near future,
There are 135 houses in the Parish of which about 115 are situated in
the village, Approximately 100 of the houses in the village are served
by pail closets, 10 are provided with water closets and cesspools and
5 discharge to drains. The Halstead Rural District Council propose to
erect 12 houses on a site to the south of the village and 4 houses on
a site to the west of the village,
There is a Dye Works in Bures St.Mary which draws its water supply from
a borehole on the premises, No provision has been made in the scheme for
the reception of the trade wastes from these premises.
There is a Government controlled slaughter-house in Cuckoo Hill, Bures
St.Mary. The average consumption of water at these premises has been given
by the Council's Water Engineer as 1,500 gallons per day. The wastes,
consisting mainly of floor washings which appear to be particularly foul
in character, are discharged to a very small settling pit and thence through
a drain which outfalls into the River Stour at a point just above Bures
Bridge. This drain is also reputed to receive the overflows from cesspools
serving nine properties and causes serious pollution and discolouration
of the River Stour,
In October, 1946, it was observed that
a "bar", which appeared to consist of stomach contents and the
like, had been formed on the river bed and extended almost to the opposite
bank of the river
There are two Maltings in Bures Hamlet, one near Bures Station and one
near Bures Bridge which are not at present in use. It is understood, however,
that they will be used again in the near future and the flow from emptying
the barley steeping cisterns is likely to be about 3,000 gallons per day,
A typical analysis of similar wastes from the Maltings at Long Melford
shows them to be about three times as strong as domestic sewage.
Allowed for in Scheme.
The population appears to be decreasing but with the of additional houses
there may be a small increase in the future. It is estimated, however,
that only about 900 to 1,000 of the present estimated population of the
Parishes are housed in locations which be served by the proposed sewers.
The scheme has been designed to servo an ultimate population of 1,070
A suggested preliminary allocation of cost based upon the populations
to be served is appended hereto.
The two villages are situated on opposite banks of the River Stour which
divides them. The ground slopes generally towards the River and less steeply
in a generally south-easterly direction,
The sewage from the village of Bures Hamlet will gravitate towards the
Ejector Station situated near Bures Bridge, and will be delivered gravity
sewer on the Bures St.Mary side of the Bridge.
All the sewage will gravitate to a pumping station to the southeast of
Bures St.Mary from which it will be delivered to the sewage disposal works,
The sewers and pumping plant will be capable of dealing with up to six
times the dry weather flow taken at 25 gallons per head per day together
with an allowance for the trade wastes referred to above except those
from the dye-works.
The the purpose of designing the percolating filters at the disposal works
the daily flow of trade wastes from the slaughter-house and the Maltings
has been multiplied by three in order to arrive at an equivalent flow
of domestic sewage.
SEWAGE DISPOSAL SCHEME
The site of the proposed sewage disposal works is lies wholly above flood
level. Access to the site from the main road at the foot of Clicket Hill
is available by an existing private road over which an casement will be
required. The disposal works will consist of a screening chamber, an upward
flow sedimentation tank, two biological filters fed by dosing syphons,
two humus tanks, and sludge drying beds,
The effluent will be discharged directly into the River Stour.
ESTIMATE 0F CAPITAL COST
The estimated capital cost of the proposed sewerage and sewage disposal
works is £30,457.
inc Compulsary purchase of land £275
Note:- One has to remember the method of "disposing"
waste in the river was not unique to Bures. The report shows it was common
practice at Glemsford, Stanstead, Hartest, Long Melford, Gt Cornard, Nayland,
Stoke by Nayland etc etc
It seems impossible to imagine the state of the rive, by the time it reach
the tidal reaches of Cattawade
Sewerage - Melford
Rural District Council took over this duty with a more sanitised motorised
Mains sewerage, came to the village approx 1955, the time of the Suez
Crisis. Work installing the pipwork was hindered somewhat, by the shortage
One incident recalled was a supply of 40gall barrels of petrol arriving
as an emergency supply for the machinery, diggers etc. These were stored
overnight in the Sewerage Station in Nayland Rd, which was under construction.
However, on opening up next morning, the barrels had mysteriously vanished!!
Halstead RDC and Melford RDC Public Enquiry Report dated
Loaned courtesy of Pat Creek
Written by Alan Beales 01/03/09