Buckskin flood report published
Friday, 18 July 2014
Hampshire County Council, as Lead Local Flood Authority, has published the independent consultant's report on the flooding in the Buckskin area of Basingstoke, this winter.
The formal investigation was launched in March to look into the causes of flooding, what could be done to address these in future, and the responsibilities of different organisations to mitigate the risk of flooding. It focused on specific areas of Buckskin surrounding the Ridgeway Centre, Grampian Way and Basingstoke Golf Centre.
The report from technical specialists CH2MHILL, concludes that the areas in Buckskin were affected by fluvial, surface water, foul water and groundwater flooding, with significant number of properties affected.
It also highlighted that flooding occurred following a wetter than average 2012 and 2013 and then an exceptional amount of rainfall, of which there was no break between 7 February to 6 March. The high groundwater levels, coupled with the geology of the area, which was also identified as an exacerbating factor to the event, caused a dormant spring to become active and the surface water drainage, formed of soakaways, not to function. This, in turn, caused water from the historic river course to accumulate in low lying areas.
The report recommends that surface water drainage needs to be reviewed to understand the underlying cause of the flooding and that there should be better monitoring of the groundwater, including setting up a threshold at which point actions should be taken.
Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, commented: "We commissioned this independent investigation to find out about the causes of the flooding problems in Buckskin and what corrective or improvement actions might be required to help mitigate the risk in the future. Now we have the results of the investigation, we will continue to work closely with our partners including Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, the Environment Agency and Thames Water to determine what actions can be prioritised immediately and what additional steps need to be taken to help address future flood risk.
"Bids for Government grants to support further investment in flood defences for Buckskin and across Hampshire were submitted earlier this year by the County Council and the Environment Agency, and the results of these funding bids should be known in the autumn. In the meantime, we will be focusing additional resources on cleaning, clearing and maintenance of our highway drainage systems and continue to offer advice on steps residents can take to better protect individual properties."
Councillor Roy Perry, Leader of Hampshire County Council, recently met with water companies and energy suppliers to discuss ways to improve Hampshire's resilience against future extreme weather conditions, through joint working. The partner organisations have agreed to continue to work closely together, sharing technical expertise and knowledge, for instance, on the relationship between groundwater levels in boreholes and flooding incidents, the location and resilience of critical infrastructure such as water or electricity sub stations, or access to aerial photographs and flood mapping to help inform plans for future flood defences.
Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service is leading on an exercise to bring together all the lessons learned during this winter's flooding across the county and a further report is expected later this year.