A WATER company has come up with a flooding solution following the death of cattle in connection with river pollution.

Northumbrian Water says the River Deerness has been polluted on three occasions since 2013 as a result of repeat flooding from sewer manholes, which has been connected with the death of cattle from Blacks Disease, which was caused by the ingestion of an organism commonly found in sewerage.

The company has proposed a scheme which involved building an underground storm sewer tank on land belonging to Primrose Side Farm, Alum Waters, in New Brancepeth.

If approved and built, it would measure 66m by 30m, with a height of 2.1m and would have two compartments so that most of the time only a small portion of it would be in use.

It would take nine months to construct the tank, which would be accessed from an existing shared track from Sleetburn Lane and a new track.

When built, it would have a non-mechanical flow control device, which would be monitored by Northumbrian Water through routine visits.

The development would also require the replacement of approximately 300m of concrete sewer pipe with larger capacity pipe.

Durham County Council has received 32 letters of objections to the scheme.

Concerns have been raised about increased flood risk to their property, increased noise, smells and a loss of privacy during construction and damage to the habitat where the tank would be built.

Neighbours at Bleach Green Farm, which is next to Primrose Side Farm, say the disturbance of the site could interfere with natural drainage systems and have the potential to divert water towards their property.

Council officers have not made any objections, nor has the Environment Agency.

A statement on behalf of Northumbrian Water Groups (NWG) says: “NWG has a statutory obligation to address the existing sewer flooding in this area, has engaged pro-actively with the council, the Environment Agency, the land owner and other near neighbours of the site and stakeholders to develop this robust solution.”

Members of Durham County Council’s county planning committee will make a decision on whether to approve the application at a meeting at County Hall on Tuesday.

Planning officers have recommended the scheme is approved.

Their report says: “The proposed development would provide a much needed solution to resolve flooding and pollution incidents from the existing sewer system.”