Extensive damage to a Northfield park after a large water main burst last month is  under repair. 

Severn Trent were investigating an ongoing small leak on a 43 inch wide pipe in Ley Hill Park, close to Frankley water treatment works. On Tuesday 27th February, when they began to dig down to fully investigate the leak, the major supply pipe unfortunately failed further.

Severn Trent quickly diverted the water supply away from the pipe huge, but not before a huge amount of water had leaked from the sizeable main.

Carl Flello from Severn Trent said: “Unfortunately we don’t know exactly how much water was lost but we do know this is a large pipe that feeds some of the cities storage tanks.”

Water ripped through the bottom of Ley Hill Park and flooded Merritt’s Brook Lane. Downstream, Merritt’s Brook flooded in Manor Farm Park, the car park at the Cadbury’s plant in Bournville was flooded and the water level in Selly Park rose by over half a metre.

Mr Flello said: “We have been working with the Environment Agency to understand what impact the additional water had to the streams and rivers it entered, and will take advice from them if they feel there was any impact to the environment.”

He confirmed that Severn Trent were working with partners, including Birmingham City Council Parks Department and the Friends of Ley Hill Park, to discuss and action full repairs to the park.

He said: “Unfortunately the footbridge has been damaged and we are working with our land agents, Birmingham City parks and the Friends of Ley Hill to discuss timescales of full repair to the bridge and park.

“We have also discussed building in some additional scrambler barriers at the entrance to the bridge, at the request of the Friends from Ley Hill to help future proof and make the park a safer place for all in the future.”

Merritt’s Brook Lane was to remain closed – to allow treated water from the hole to be pumped into sewers, prevent seepage into the water course – until Thursday 8th March. However, that is likely to have been pushed back further after recent disruption with snow, ice and water leaks related to the rapid thaw.

Mr Flello apologised to the local community for the disruption. He said: “We’re really sorry for the inconvenience this will cause.  We’ve been in touch with the local school and made all of the parents aware.”

Updates will be posted as repairs progress

Thanks to Graham Andrews, Joanne Jones and Jay Mason-Burns for images

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