Comment on surface water management plan for Rushmoor
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
A draft long-term action plan for managing surface water flooding in specific areas of the Rushmoor borough has been published to offer local residents, communities and organisations the opportunity to give their views before the plan is developed further and finalised.
In its capacity as the Lead Local Flood Authority, the County Council has worked with Rushmoor Borough Council, the Environment Agency and the water companies, to prepare a draft Surface Water Management Plan.
Surface water flooding relates to flooding from groundwater and run-off from land, small water courses and ditches that occurs as a result of heavy rainfall. The Surface Water Management Plan (SWMP) identifies locations in the borough that are likely to flood from surface water, groundwater and ordinary watercourses (smaller ditches and streams not classified by the Environment Agency as main rivers). It will also establish a long term action plan to manage surface water in an area.
Councillor Mel Kendal, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Environment and Transport at Hampshire County Council, commented: "In preparing the draft SWMP, we have worked with our partners to understand the causes and effects of surface water flooding and agree the most cost-effective way of managing the risk of surface water flooding in the long term.
"Exceptional periods of rain can cause flooding that can inundate roads and buildings and overload drainage systems. Highway drainage systems are designed to deal with certain frequencies of storm and rainfall intensity but sudden heavy downpours can be a problem and lead to short term surface flooding. In identifying problem areas and the action that can be taken, the SWMP will serve to influence decision making relating to future capital investment in drainage, land use planning and inform decisions about appropriate drainage solutions for housing and infrastructure developments."
Aside from any action that the various agencies undertake to alleviate flooding, householders too have a role to play. Councillor Kendal, explained:
"Every householder has a responsibility to ensure ditches on their land are clear to ensure water can flow freely. Many people are unaware of their responsibilities in terms of waste water, drainage and sewage and, as part of the SWMP, the partners will be working to ensure householders are made aware of their obligations in this area."
In addition to keeping ditches on their land clear, householders are also responsible for:
- waste water from inside their property such as from sinks, toilets, washing machines etc;
- drainage from their property, including rain falling on the roofs and gardens;
- and the private foul sewers within a property to the point they connect to the public sewer.
Sewers are not designed to dispel flood water. Bailing flood water into the sewer system can engulf it and cause foul water flooding. Both the public foul sewer and public surface water sewers are the responsibility of the sewage authority (Southern Water, Thames Water, Wessex Water). The County Council has responsibility only for drains provided specifically to drain the highway.