30/07/07 – Flood Water Drainage Explanation
I have spoken to the Borough Council’s Drainage Officer about the problems we experienced in the ward. The explanation is best following an explanation of how the storm water drains work and who has responsibility for each section.
To start off with, Swindon Borough Council owns and maintains the gullies and drains themselves that take the water from the gullies to the main storm water sewers. As the sewers run under the road normally, the distance from the drain itself and the main storm water sewer is not normally very far.
The main storm water sewers which take any water that the Council side of things deliver in to is the responsibility of Thames Water. The storm water sewers takes the water normally to the nearest river or contributory.
In the ward this is either the River Cole or the one that runs along St Paul’s Drive. These are maintained by the Environment Agency. They obviously will eventually carry this water out to see.
In the instance recently where we received a very high rain fall not just in one area of the town, but everywhere, all the roads and footpaths were feeding in to the likes of the River Cole. Unfortunately, where it flows through the ward, we are downstream from these areas.
Therefore the River Cole was already near or at capacity, therefore the rain water from within the ward had no where to go once the storm sewers where full. Consequently we saw some localised flooding.
Although I have not personally seen the flood maps, Covingham and Nythe were no worse off than other parts of the town by area, although we probably received the highest density of houses that flooded.
Some roads, like Peregrine Close also had issues as those properties are apparently a few feet lower than others and are also near the river which broke it’s banks.
Owing to the concern, and rightly so, of a lot of residents, we are planning a public meeting where we intend to have the Environment Agency and Thames Water come along to explain this in more detail and highlight anything they believe can be done to minimise or remove the problems we experiences happening again (although mindful this was the heaviest rain fall ever recorded since records began around 250 years ago).
This obviously will not be for a little while as Thames Water and the Environment Agency are still busy in areas that have not had the water subside.