WORK to install two giant sewage tanks in North Swindon is progressing ahead of schedule thanks to the good weather.

Thames Water is putting in two tanks at either end of Queen Elizabeth Drive in Taw Hill. The water company said it will help to increase the capacity of the sewer system and help deal with excess rainwater to prevent flooding.

When the proposal was first announced there was a lot of local opposition to the scheme, but Thames Water pressed ahead.

The tanks are 1,000 cubic metres at the south site, with the one at the north site half that size.

Contractors moved onto the northern site, which is approaching completion, in March this year and the south site a few months later.

Project manager Justin Seely said: “There have not been many issues on site and overall we’re around two to three weeks ahead of the overall programme.

“At the north site, the main shaft has been constructed, the base poured, mechanical pipework installed. We have also put in the ducting for BT and power cables while all other manhole and civil works are now complete. The control kiosk base has also been built.

“At the south site, the main shaft is now sunk and the base has been poured.”

The north site is located adjacent to St Francis School, as well as a pond which is home to some great crested newts, which are protected. As a result, the company has been required to capture the creatures. This period comes to an end in a few weeks, after which time top soil can start to be put back in place.

Justin said: “The main slab to cover the shaft will start to be put in place today. The newt capture expires on August 18, after which we will commence a path area and then fill in around the shaft to partly reinstate soil in the compound area.

“At the south site, we will be putting the cover on the shaft in September, when there will be a brief road closure.”

The workmen are expected to be finished on both sites by mid-November, with the seeding for grass beginning next year when the conditions are right.

“We’ll be able to do some of the reinstatement work at the north site this year but the main grass re-seeding at both the north and south sites will be done next Spring,” said Justin “We’ll be planting trees during autumn this year. I would envisage the whole area being back to a state where the grass is reinstated around June to July next year, maybe sooner if the weather is good in March to allow the re-seeding to take place earlier.”