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River level to lower for weir repairs

Water level in the River Colne from Middle Mill to Spring Lane to be reduced for one day this spring.

Date Published: 25 February 2020

The water level in the River Colne from Middle Mill to Spring Lane will be reduced for one day whilst Colchester Borough Council safely carries out essential repairs and maintenance to the weir gates at Middle Mill in Castle Park, this spring.

The repairs to the weir, which is owned by Colchester Borough Council, include replacing a broken winding cable and carrying out general maintenance works. To access the weir safely, the water level upstream must be lowered.

The timeliness of this work is important and following advice from the Environment Agency about when the best time of year is to carry out the works to minimise the impact on wildlife, the works will go ahead over the coming weeks. Once the work is complete, the weir gates can be closed to prevent the river running dry in the summer.

As part of the Great British Spring Clean, the Council’s Neighbourhood Services will be taking advantage of the lowered river level and where it is safe to do so, will remove rubbish from the river. For safety reasons, members of the public are advised not to enter the river or attempt to remove any rubbish from it themselves.

The work is weather-dependent and is currently likely to take place in early March.

There will signage along the stretch of river affected advising the public of the works taking place.

Councillor Martin Goss, Portfolio Holder for Waste, Environment and Transportation, said “These repair works are essential to ensuring the river level is stable throughout the year and supports the local wildlife and environment.

“Whilst the river level will be lower on the day of the works, the level should be restored within a few days. If the repairs aren’t carried out, the river would run dry in the summer which would have a devastating impact on the local environment.

“We will also take full advantage of the lower river level and where we’re able to remove any rubbish, which will improve the river and enhance the environment too.”

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