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Enfield Council working to avoid flooding

Published Thursday, 16 January 2014

Work to reduce the risk of flooding in Enfield is proceeding smoothly with the borough avoiding the worst effects of the extreme weather which hit the United Kingdom in recent weeks.

In recent months Enfield Council has carried out a number of drainage improvement schemes to ensure that major roads such as The Ridgeway, Whitewebbs Lane and Meridian Way are less vulnerable to flooding.

Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Chris Bond, said: “Recent events have shown us elsewhere in the UK, the devastating impact flooding can have on the lives of ordinary people and the incredible effort and cost of cleaning up the mess afterwards.

“We want to try and make the borough as flood proof as we possibly can and we are always looking for ways of preventing flooding, or making sure, if it does happen, flood water affects the areas where people do not live.”

In addition to protecting Enfield’s vital infrastructure the Council are also participating in two schemes which aim to reduce the likelihood of flash flooding and minimise pollution in rivers that is caused by dirty water running off roads and misconnected sewers.

The Salmons Brook Healthy River Challenge was launched in 2012 by Thames21, Enfield Council and Defra’s Catchment Restoration Fund.  The aim of the project is to develop techniques for reducing the impact of the different types of pollution that arises from using urban land. So far four sites for Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS) have been identified in the Salmons Brook catchment area to intercept pollution from surface water sewers before or close to where they empty into open watercourses. 

These projects will also create new areas of bio-diverse habitat and amenities for local people and the projects have been developed with Friends of Parks Groups and residents with concept plans drawn up ready for public consultation.

Two of the projects involve creating wet woodlands by diverting water flows out of existing pipes and channels and into wide areas of dense vegetation where naturally occurring bacteria and filtration processes can remove or break down most of the pollution.  Another site involves restoring a river that has been buried in a pipe for over fifty years.  The fourth site will see the creation of a landmark ‘SuDS Park’ on land that was formerly a council depot.

Through this project Enfield Council and Thames21 are also looking to implement best-practice SuDS retrofit schemes such as rain gardens for highway runoff that can be scaled up and repeated elsewhere in the borough.

A completely different project that will improve the way London Boroughs approach local flood risk management is currently being developed by the London Drainage Engineering Group. FloodStation is a new piece of software that will help London Boroughs to establish and maintain a local flood risk management asset register.  The system will be web-based and allow councils to record information about assets including ownership and condition.  It will also have a facility for recording information about maintenance requirements, critical infrastructure and flood incidents.

Recording details of flood incidents and monitoring the condition of significant flood assets, will make sure that Enfield Council can manage risks and prioritise resources effectively, reducing risks to property, saving tax payer’s money, protecting  infrastructure, individuals, businesses and communities.

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