Tucked away off the Bildeston-Hadleigh Road, at Semer on the side towards the Brett River, down a little private drive is the mini pumping station and water treatment works that conceals a bore hole that since 1992 has been providing all the water for the villages from Hitcham, Bildeston, down to Kersey in the south west and Hintlesham in the East. It’s pumped up to Nedging water tower (pictured) and a mini reservoir that sits alongside the water tower and from there supplies 3,500 homes. But it’s now failed.
Anglian Water have put in a pipeline to the nearest working borehole at Watson’s Corner as an emergency measure but apparently this will not be enough once spring and drier weather arrives. Anglian Water are therefore going to drill a new bore hole close to the existing building at Semer site. This will need planning permission. Babergh planning officers met Anglian Water on site and say the works described appear “acceptable”. Anglian Water predict they will to start the works in March and will have to apply retrospectively. AW have decided to consult directly with the affected parishes. I’ve spoken to the planning officer and he tells me that he believes the bore hole failure is technical rather than the aquifer running dry.
Just a few metres south of the water works – further towards Hadleigh on that side of the road – there is a lovely fenny, flooded area amongst trees and when I cycle past I often see a heron perched in the water there, presumably waiting patiently for a fish to move. I have not yet been able to get a photo of it.