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The on-line magazine for the water management industry

Spring

2017

and its environment

Leeds Flood Scheme - moveable weirs

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Contents Flood Risk

New £1 million flood competition to protect more communities

5

New Innovative moveable weirs now in place as Leeds flood alleviation scheme reaches major milestone

8-9

Managing flooding by working with nature

Managing flooding by working with nature

6

Minimise flood risk by maximising the efficiency of culverts

Milestone reached for £58m Ipswich Flood Barrier scheme

Port of Boston gets behind the £100 million Boston Barrier Scheme Horncastle reservoir ready to reduce flood risk

BRE launches new flood resilient demonstration home Keeping Key Infrastructure Safe

Significant benefits of natural land management are being ignored

Work begins on major £18 million Newhaven flood defence project

Leeds moveable weirs now in place

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£2.4m repairs to Torcross sea defences completed

Surface Water & SuDS

River Restoration and Management

14 - 15 16

17

18 - 19 20

24 - 25

28

Smart Monitoring to help water industry to plan, act and react

30

Essential Erosion Control Works on Network Rail Embankment

32 - 33

Project aims to improve river health

Fish stocks boost for endangered pearl mussel Record fine for river pollution

Directory

Contact information

General Enquiries content@managingwater.co.uk Tel: 0845 2 575 575

Advertising advertising@managingwater.co.uk Tel: 0845 2 575 575

A place for SUDS

12 - 13

26 - 27

Fish stocks boost for North East rivers

17

12

Polypipe Provides Flood Alleviation for Retrofit Scheme at ‘Lost’ London River

New fish passes open up 22km of watercourse

Significant benefits of natural land management are being ignored

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23

British Water publishes code of practice for SuDS technology

14

10

Scottish Flood Alleviation Scheme Targets Rail Flood Risk A place for SUDS

Flood resilient demonstration home

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34

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Editorial articles@managingwater.co.uk Tel: 0845 2 575 575

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Flood Risk


Flood Risk

New £1 million flood competition to protect more communities

A new ground-breaking competition will allow flood defence projects around the country to apply for a share of £1 million to help protect even more homes and businesses,

This government funded competition is the first of its kind and will be open to innovative projects that plan to use landscape features such as ponds, banks, meanders, channels, and trees to store, drain or slow flood water. About the 2017 open competition

Organisations and partnerships may bid for up to £50,000 for individual Natural Flood Management (NFM) projects in England. Projects will need to demonstrate how they will meet the following allocation criteria: • reduce flood risk, or coastal erosion, to homes • improve habitats and increase biodiversity • contribute to research and development of NFM techniques and interventions • support and develop partnerships working with and between communities

awarded funding. 3: Minister Coffey will make the final decision on the successful projects for the competition.

Successful projects will be notified in the summer of 2017 and invited to provide a short business case for assessment. Once the business case has been approved, successful projects can then begin. Natural flood management already forms an important part of the government’s flood strategy and funding these new projects builds on £14m already committed to similar schemes across the country. Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said:

I am delighted to offer more support for local communities looking to employ natural flood management measures to better protect their homes and businesses. We now carefully look at flood risk across an entire catchment area from a river’s source to the sea – to make sure we have in place the best tailored mix of natural as well as concrete, engineered defences to better protect communities.

The Environment Secretary announced the new competition in Leicester, where a natural flood management scheme is already successfully in place reconnecting the floodplain with the river.

The funding is for the initial project construction, which needs to be completed by 31 March 2021. There is no funding available for continued maintenance.

This scheme has not only reduced the flood risk to 1,200 properties, it has transformed public spaces along the river, with improved seating areas and cycle paths for the local community to enjoy. A total of 100 trees and 7,000 shrubs have been planted and wildlife such as grey heron and little egret are now regularly seen around the area.

Project proposals for funding will need to be submitted via the Catchment Partnerships by 19 May 2017. They may submit as many bids as they choose, but will be asked to suggest a priority order.

Environment Agency Chair, Emma Howard Boyd, said:

Projects that require more than £50,000 in funding will need to find additional contributions from partners.

How to apply for funding

How funding will be awarded

The proposals will be evaluated in three stages:

1: Catchment Partnerships and Environment Agency teams will work togeather to ensure that flood risk and environmental outcomes are realistic, using their local knowledge and expertise. They will also make sure that project proposals are in line with any local plans (e.g. Flood Risk Management Plans or River Basin Management Plans) and meet the allocation criteria outlined above. The proposals will then be put forward to a National Panel. 2: All project proposals will be evaluated by a National Panel, including representatives from the Regional Flood Committee, EA, NE, FC and Defra. The National Panel will recommend a final list of projects to be

The new natural flood management competition will give small-scale natural flood management projects around the country the opportunity to apply for funding, so they too can achieve similar results.

At places such as Leicester, Morpeth, and Medmerry, the Environment Agency has already shown that natural flood management can reduce flood risk alongside traditional flood defences and property resilience. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach to natural flood management: it’s about using a range of measures, from creating ponds and woody dams to redirecting river channels, that work together to reduce flood risk. This competition is a great way to explore the different ways these approaches can benefit communities and the environment.

Details of the competition and how to apply are available here. The deadline for competition entries is 19 May 2017 and the successful projects are expected to be announced by the end of June 2017.

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Flood Risk

Managing Flooding by Working With Nature

Michael Norbury, Environment Agency

The UK government announced £15m for natural flood management initiatives in the 2016 Autumn Statement. To tell us more about what these methods are, the National Environment Research Council (NERC) spoke to Professor Louise Bracken at Durham University, Dr Paul Quinn at Newcastle University and their colleagues from the Environment Agency – Michael Norbury and Alex Nicholson. Over five million UK properties are currently at risk of flooding, according to the Environment Agency. Traditional, large concrete and steel flood defences such as flood walls, flood gates and dams reduce flood risk where people live. But to meet the challenges of climate change and changes in land use, these may only ever be part of a solution. In some areas they might not be feasible at all.

As part of the range of measures we can use to lessen or delay flood risk to property downstream, natural flood management (NFM) initiatives can reduce the height of flood waters at their peak. They can also help improve water quality.

But rather than ‘defending’ towns where floodwater might hit, NFM is about holding water further upstream and in the landscape. These measures are built in numerous locations along the river, its catchment area and the surrounding landscape. This slows the release of water down and into the river, giving people more time to prepare and helping keep its highest level, or ‘peak flow’, manageable as it flows towards places where people live. NFM measures can also help improve water quality and reduce erosion by protecting and restoring riverbanks. Most measures can be built using locally-sourced, natural materials, which also helps to reduce their carbon footprint and helps wildlife habitats to thrive. NFM measures will need replacing more regularly than structures made of concrete or steel but using local 6

materials, such as willow, also means that these measures are fairly low cost. Slowing the Flow

NFM is about all the measures that can slow a raindrop down as soon it falls from the sky and starts to travel across the land. Here, we outline just a few of them. In the countryside techniques include managing the land and in towns it can mean using permeable materials for paving.

There are a huge range of factors to take into account and each measure must be tailored to the landscape where it’s being used. Traditional defences may be the best option in certain places but often a combination will be appropriate. Since 2004, 154 different NFM initiatives have been introduced in the UK. But given that these have mainly been used in smaller river areas, we don’t yet have enough data to predict how effective they will be in any given catchment. To improve our understanding, NERC has launched a four-year, £4m programme to find out more about their suitability and effectiveness for a range of flood risk scenarios. Natural Flood Management in Action

The Belford Burn catchment in Northumberland covers fewer than three square miles but has caused the town of Belford a long history of flooding. In July 1997, the East Coast Mainline was temporarily shut down when the tracks around Belford Burn flooded. Paul Quinn’s team and the Environment Agency used a range of NFM techniques in 45 locations around the river so the catchment could hold an additional 12,000m3 of water in the landscape – that’s about the amount held in five Olympic-sized swimming pools.

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Flood Risk

Leaky Dams

Ditch Barriers

A dam made of wood or other natural material catches water flowing overland, later releasing it slowly into the river.

Barriers in ditches or drains at field boundaries allow water to flow in normal conditions, but collect higher water levels behind them during floods. They can be built using local materials such as willow.

Leaky Dams in India

Natural water management techniques can also be used to protect stocks of water in areas of low rainfall. For example, a type of leaky dam called a johad is a traditional tool for water management in India that stops the flow of water downhill, storing it for year round use. Indian campaigner Rajendra Singh spearheaded efforts to reintroduce johads and Rajasthan State now has 1,500 of them. Singh won the Stockholm Water Prize for bringing water to 1,000 villages.

Engineered Log Jams (ELJs)

Secured tree trunks encased in living saplings such as willow thickets laid across the top of a river and floodplain. ELJs force high flows of water onto floodplains, reducing the amount of water flowing down the river and temporarily holding it back. The saplings can also filter out pollutants such as phosphate that may come from sewage and farming runoff.

Offline Ponds

A series of connected ponds at field margins and the river edge to slow down surface water running into the river.

Online Ponds

Closer to the river, ‘online’ ponds allow a river to overflow its banks in a controlled way via shallow inlets allowing high flows to spill into the pond.

Reconnecting Old Channels and Oxbow Lakes Over centuries, the courses of many rivers have been straightened or changed to save space. By reconnecting old channels to a river’s present route, high flows can to spill into them. This article was originally published here, and republished under Creative Commons BY 4.0.

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Flood Risk

New Innovative moveable weirs now in place as Leeds flood alleviation scheme reaches major milestone The first phase of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme has reached a major milestone as all three moveable weir gates have now been successfully put in place at Knostrop Weir on the River Aire. Costing in the region of £50million, the scheme is being led by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Environment Agency.

The final stages of the work at Knostrop include the removal of the remaining cofferdam ahead of it becoming a fully operational flood defence later in May. The three gates have been constructed as part of an innovative approach using moveable weirs, which can be lowered in flood

conditions to reduce river levels and the threat of flooding. This is the first time that moveable weirs are being used in the UK for a flood defence. The weirs can be lowered, and raised, by deflating and inflating ‘bladders’ fabricated from a bullet proof neoprene material under each gate, which act like giant air filled pillows.

The first of the weir gates at Knostrop Weir has already been tested. Later this month the cofferdam structure, which was installed to allow a dry working area in the river for the construction of the weir gate, will be flooded with water and the sheet piles then removed.

New fish and eel passes are also being constructed at Knostrop. The structures consist of a number of shallow trays which the fish and eels can swim and jump up, allowing them to migrate upstream. The previous stone weir was approximately three metres high and a barrier to fish and eels moving up the River Aire. Moveable weirs are also being constructed further upstream at Crown Point in the city centre, where the installation of the first of two weir gates has been completed. Last month, reinforced concrete works were finished which meant the bladders and gates could be fixed in place prior to testing.

Now this gate has been installed and tested, the cofferdam has been flooded and the sheet piles are being removed to allow for work to begin on the final weir gate adjacent to Fearns’ Island.

The Leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake, recently visited both sites to see first hand how the weirs will be reducing the risk of flooding to the city. Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Judith Blake said:

Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Judith Blake with BAM Nuttall Project Manager Andy Judson at the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme

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It was fascinating to see the new flood scheme up close and especially to see the amazing technology and engineering involved in putting these moveable weirs in place to control the flow of the River Aire.


Flood Risk

It is such a simple idea but it is fantastic to see Leeds at the cutting-edge of the field using the latest technology in this way.

The value of the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme in terms of the reassurance it will offer residents and businesses over the coming years and decades is incalculable, so we very much look forward to seeing phase one complete later this year while we continue to make the strongest possible case for further significant measures to help protect all our communities threatened by flood-risk across the city as soon as possible. Work on flood defence walls in the Holbeck area are also still underway. Temporary traffic management remains in place and will do so until September 2017. The traffic management has been coordinated with the Bridgewater Place wind baffle scheme in an effort to minimise disruption. The site works for Phase 1 of the Leeds Flood Alleviation scheme commenced in January 2015 and are due to be completed this summer. It is one of the largest river flood defences in the country. When complete, it will provide an increased level of protection from flooding from the River Aire and Hol Beck for residents and businesses in the city centre. The scheme also includes defences at Woodlesford.

Further information on Phase 1 of the scheme can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/fas.

Work on phase 2 of the project is currently underway to develop a proposal for how to increase the standard of protection in Leeds including areas such as Kirkstall and Stourton.

The third movable gate at Knostrop Weir has been installed on the Leeds flood scheme

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Flood Risk

Minimise flood risk by maximising the efficiency of culverts We are all acutely aware of the essential role of culverts in ensuring that our drainage systems work effectively to prevent flooding.

Inspections using a variety of techniques, CCTV, sonar and manentry, provide extensive rapid reporting and a key benefit to the client is the inclusion of indicative costs for any remedial works that might be identified from the survey. The client can then schedule works based on the urgency and budgets.

However many culverts sit neglected, buried under decades of growth and development. Blockages, deformation and access can make it very difficult to, firstly carry out inspections and secondly, to carry out repairs. The longer the issue is left, the more expensive the fix could become. OnSite is an expert in difficult and remote culvert works and with complete in-house capabilities can provide a complete ‘find & fix’ service from inspection to de-silting, repair and re-construction including lining, pipe-jacking, concrete lining and brickwork. With a range of specialist off-road survey and jetting/vacuum units remote and difficult access need not be a problem. OnSite is an expert in difficult and remote culvert works and with complete in-house capabilities can

I I I I

OnSite operates nationally and is a framework contractor to the Environment Agency, Canal & Rivers Trust and various Local Authorities. Over 200 culvert operations are carried out every month by OnSites teams.

provide a complete ‘find & fix’ service from inspection to de-silting, repair and re-construction including lining, pipe-jacking, concrete lining and brickwork. With a range of specialist off-road survey and jetting/vacuum units remote and difficult access need not be a problem.

The complete in-house ‘find and fix’ capability, the ability to carry out the most demanding of inspections and repairs and the comprehensive inspection and remediation cost reporting sets OnSite apart. For more information visit www.onsite.co.uk or email waterways@onsite.co.uk

I I I I

OnSite is part of SSI Services, a member of

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Flood Risk

programme to complete the works in spring 2018.

I am really looking forward to the next key milestone, which is the delivery of the tidal gate from Holland later in the summer. Nick Culshaw, VBA operations director, said:

Milestone reached for £58m Ipswich Flood Barrier scheme The latest stage of the Environment Agency’s £58million Ipswich Flood Barrier Scheme has been completed. The cofferdam, which is a structure that can be pumped dry to enable construction of the barrier to take place below the river bed level, is now in place.

Over the last few months, VBA the contractors working for the EA, have installed the cofferdam, pumped it dry and they have now excavated the river silts and gravel. The next stage is to pour the base slab, which is more than 700 cubic metres of reinforced concrete. At the moment the steel reinforcement is being placed by a team of 20 people and the first pour of the base slab will be completed in the next couple of weeks.

The actual tidal gate is being fabricated in Holland and will be delivered later in the year when the concrete structure and control building have been completed.

Progress has been made elsewhere on the site, with the foundations for the flood walls and the control building now installed.

The project, which will reduce the risk of flooding to 1,608 homes and 422 businesses and support key infrastructure, has been partnership funded by: the Environment Agency, Ipswich Borough Council, Department for Communities and

Local Government, the Haven Gateway Partnership, and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership.

EA project manager Andrew Usborne said:

The integrated team at the barrier are making good progress and are on

It has been a real honour to be working with and supporting the EA on this vital project in Ipswich. In order to protect around 2,000 properties, both commercial and residential, within the town from flooding in the future, a 20m wide tidal barrier gate, along with the relevant controls, will be installed.

The barrier, along with additional flood defences undertaken by VBA, will prevent any surge tides and allow the control of fluvial flow as required in the future. The scheme is due to be completed in 2018.

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Port of Boston gets behind the £100 million Boston Barrier Scheme The Port of Boston has announced its support for the project after close discussions with the Environment Agency. The Port of Boston has today announced its full backing of the proposed Boston Barrier and has formally withdrawn its objection to the Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application made by the Environment Agency in August 2016.

This comes after extensive discussions between the Environment Agency and the Port around the proposed Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) which will go to a public inquiry next month. The multi-million pound Boston Barrier is part of the Boston Combined Strategy that will reduce the risk of tidal flooding to over 17,000 properties in the area. Boston Barrier Director, Adam Robinson said:

We’re delighted to be working alongside the Port of Boston, the statutory Harbour Authority, to secure consent and enable the delivery of such an important scheme for the town of Boston, following the December 2013 tidal surge where many properties and businesses were affected.

The Port has agreed that the Environment Agency can provide temporary berthing facilities for use

by the Boston fishing fleet during construction of the proposed Barrier. They are also working with the them to ensure that the sequencing of the Barrier construction works would allow the Port’s operations to continue in a safe and efficient manner throughout the construction programme. Representative of the Port of Boston, Neil Harris said:

We are pleased to announce today that we are fully supportive of the Boston Barrier Scheme that the Environment Agency are promoting for the town of Boston.

We have been working closely with the Environment Agency throughout the optioneering and development phases of the Boston Barrier Scheme and we will continue to work together during the detailed design and construction stage, particularly in relation to ensuring the continued safe navigation of all vessels on the Haven.

There will be some disruption to navigation during key construction activities, but the Port is confident these can be managed and kept to a minimum through continued partnership working with the Environment Agency and their contractor. Safety of navigation will be a priority at all times.

The Public Inquiry for the proposed Transport and Works Act Order starts on the 19th April.

Artists impression of the barrier

Flood Risk

Horncastle reservoir ready to reduce flood risk The Horncastle flood alleviation reservoir will reduce risk to 169 properties.

The long-awaited Horncastle flood storage reservoir can now be used to reduce flood risk to hundreds of local homes and businesses.

Although there is still some work to complete on-site, the reservoir is finished enough that it can be used to store excess water from the River Bain during high flows. The reservoir, which can hold 1.5 million cubic metres of water – the same as 600 Olympic-sized swimming pools – will reduce risk to 169 properties in the town. Deborah Campbell, Flood and Coastal Risk Manager at the Environment Agency, said although the project isn’t completely finished yet, local people would already be benefitting. She said:

We know people living in Horncastle will be pleased that this important flood defence is near completion and can store excess water from the Bain. We’re currently working to finish the final profiling of the embankment, install erosion protection and commission the mechanical and electrical items. Although the reservoir can’t be used to full capacity until these works are completed, we expect to be finished this spring, weather permitting.

We’re working closely with all our partners to ensure this major project is complete as soon as possible. Work is also expected to finish this spring on two flood storage reservoirs on the River Lud near

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Flood Risk

East Lindsey District Council’s Portfolio Holder for Planning, Councillor Richard Fry, said:

“Flooding is an issue which has a major impact on communities when it happens and anything we can do to support flood prevention schemes can only be to the benefit of the area.

Louth, although these both were declared fit for use at the end of last year.

Cllr Colin Davie, Executive Member for the Environment, said:

They were constructed in partnership with Lincolnshire County Council, East Lindsey District Council, Louth and Horncastle Town Councils, Anglian Water, and Lindsey Marsh and Witham Third Internal Drainage Boards.

I’m delighted to see local partners working together so successfully, significantly reducing the likelihood of flooding for local communities.

Together, the three reservoirs reduce flood risk to more than 350 properties.

Flood Protection Systems

We’re all well aware of the misery that flooding causes, so it’s important we do all we can to protect those that are at risk.

Flow Control Equipment

“We are pleased to have supported the flood alleviation schemes in Horncastle and Louth with £1,000,000 in funding, with the EA, County Council and town councils to help reduce the chance of future flooding.” Horncastle Town Councillor Fiona Martin said:

This is excellent news. Horncastle Town Council have been working on this project since 1981 and working with partners’ persistence has finally paid off.

Spill Barriers

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BRE launches new flood resilient demonstration home

BRE have recently created a demonstration home as part of the BRE Innovation Park at Watford which has been adapted to be resistant to flooding from water up to 600mm (2 feet) deep, and also to be resilient to the effects of being flooded beyond that – in other words, it is designed to dry out quickly and be suitable to move back into in a very short time after a flood incident. At present, following a flood, builders repairing a flooddamamged home would strip off soggy plasterboard, take out the flooring and rip out a saturated chipboard kitchen. But, once the house has dried out, then they’d very likely put plasterboard back in, install a new chipboard kitchen, and use non-water resistant flooring and insulation materials, which, if the home were to flood again in the future, will suffer the same fate.

The BRE Flood Resilient Repair Home aims to show alternative replacement products in the repairs that will not be affected by subsequent flooding; products that are resilient. It also shows how simple measures such as placing electrical outlets higher up walls and using doors and windows with flood resisting seals can help minimise future damage. And, if water does get in, an automatic 'sump pump' connected to drains in the floor quickly gets water out of the house again.

Although the house is designed to be water resisting and resilient, it still looks and feels 'homely'.

Resistant and resilient measures used in the house include:

• Water resistant insulation in the walls and under the 14

Flood Risk

floor (such as spray-applied PUR foam or injected foamed cavity insulation)

• Kitchen units and doors made from resin-bonded board, and fitted with all-ceramic worktops

• Waterproof magnesium oxide wall boards instead of plasterboard, or, if plasterboard is used, this fitted horizontally so that in future only the lower boards need replacement if damaged • ceramic tlled floor and loose rugs in place of fitted carpets.

As well as these measures, other things have been done to keep vulnerable items out of the way of any future flood water:

• Sockets and switches placed higher up the wall, and the wiring to them all coming from the ceiling • Appliances in the kitchen (fridge, oven, washing machine etc) mounted at worktop height

• The lower kitchen cupboards fitted with slide-out baskets so that they can be taken out and placed on the worktop if flooding is imminent

To prevent flooding entering the property by seepage from under the floor (which happens as groundwater rises, even if floodwater doesn’t reach the door)

• Membranes installed under the floor and in the walls* to divert water towards…

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Flood Risk

• Drain channels beneath the floor around the perimeter of the room, directing water into…

• A sump in the corner of the home fitted with automatic pumps to remove the water, pumping it outside, before it can reach up to the floor. (*the membrane in the wall means that if the adjoining property floods, water that seeps through the wall from next door is channeled away to prevent damage on your side. This allows repairs to start even if the neighbouring property is still affected.)

And finally, to stem the flow of any flooding that reaches above the door sill level:

• Enhanced seals and locks to the doors and windows to make them floodproof • Air brick covers

• One-way valves in the main drains to prevent water coming up into the home via the sewers. • Drains fitted flush with the floor connected direct to the sump and pump (and so independent from the 'mains drainage'), can rapidly clear any flooding that does get into the home, pumping it out abouve the external floodwater level.

BRE Centre for Resilience Director Stephen Garvin said:

'It is not yet normal practice for properties in areas at high flood risk to be made more resilient following a flood. The aim of this project is to show contractors and householders in a tangible way that resilient repair isn’t as challenging or difficult as they may think it is.' Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey said

'BRE’s house shows how innovations in the construction industry can help people dramatically reduce the financial and emotional impacts of a flood. We are investing a record £2.5 billion to better protect 300,000 properties from floods by 2021. But, if the worst happens, property resilience measures play a crucial role in limiting flood damage, so home and business owners can get back on their feet as quickly as possible.' Emma Howard Boyd, Chair of the Environment Agency said

'Property protection can be an invaluable defence when flooding occurs. There’s no doubt that it’s more cost-effective to make your home or business as resilient as possible rather than pay for the damage afterwards. I know the devastating impact that flooding can have and urge people to keep themselves safe and to adapt their homes so that they are able to recover as quickly as possible.' The project has been funded by the BRE Trust and partners AXA Insurance, British Damage Management Association, Cunningham Lindsey, Defra, Natural Cement Distribution, and Property Care Association.

BRE has also announced a new certification scheme and training courses aimed at property flood resilience surveyors that will provide then with a framework for achieving resilient repairs to homes and other types of property. For further information and photos please contact ana.paun@bre.co.uk

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Flood Risk

Keeping Key Infrastructure Safe

[PHOTO: CASE long reach excavator removes debris from New Mills Bridge]

This winter long reach excavator specialists, WM Plant Hire, were called in for emergency works near Shelsey Walsh, Worcestershire, to protect against flooding and bridge damage. The plan was to remove debris trapped on the bridge support piers using a 15m long reach excavator. By fitting a rotating grab the tree branches could be lifted easily and loaded directly into trucks to be taken away for recycling. The machine was placed on timber mats to minimise the impact on the bridge deck, to protect the tarmac and distribute the load.

This consolidates the repeat work that the Company has been involved in over many years with local authorities and framework contractors, keeping waterways and highways safe. To see the machine in action why not see the video on our website: www.wmplanthire.com and click on the link to our YouTube channel.

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Click to view the video For further information visit www.wmplanthire.com

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Flood Risk

New study in Ireland finds significant benefits of natural land management ignored Dredging alone will not contain flood risk

A new study, commissioned by Friends of the Earth, has found that natural land management techniques can significantly reduce flood risk but are being ignored by Irish policy-makers, despite evidence of their contribution to flood management around Europe. Natural Flood Management is a comprehensive approach to managing soil, wetlands, woodlands and floodplains along a river to retain and slow water at times of flood risk, reducing the speed and the peak of floodwaters compared to approaches that rely only on dredging and walls. The report, commissioned by Friends of the Earth, was launched at an event to mark World Wetlands Day in Dublin City Council. Speaking at the launch, the report's author, ecologist and broadcaster, Anja Murray said:

"Natural flood management has gained recognition in many countries as a viable and cost effective approach to flood risk management, with extensive projects across Europe and further afield that have restored peat bogs, planted riparian woodlands, restored and created new wetlands, re-profiled rivers and their floodplains to hold back floodwaters. "Natural flood management is virtually unknown in Ireland, despite the growing problem of widespread flood damage in recent years and forecasts of worse to come. There have been no trials or pilots of catchment based approaches to flood management in Ireland, despite the evidence that natural flood management can be an effective means of significantly reducing flood peak." Welcoming the study's findings, Friends of the Earth Director, Oisin Coghlan said:

"Our climate is warming. Major flood events, currently expected once in every 50 years, are likely to occur once every 10 years by the second half of this century. We commissioned this study because we want Ireland to protect our communities as effectively as possible from the impacts of climate change. This study shows that building our flood resilience is about more than building walls and dredging rivers.

"It's hard to fathom why natural flood management techniques have been ignored in Ireland, despite the evidence of their contribution elsewhere. There has been a rush to expensive engineering responses in the face in understandable public anger. We hope this report will start a conversation about how to make our flood risk management more evidence-based, less narrowly focused, and ultimately more effective."

The report, "Natural Flood Management: Adopting

ecosystem approaches to managing flood risk", analyses a whole-catchment approach to managing flood waters, through managing soil, wetlands, woodlands and floodplains to retain water strategically at times of flood risk. In recent decades urban and agricultural expansion and intensification, often onto historic floodplains, has resulted in the loss of capacity of floodplains to lessen the impact of flooding. Dredging continues on many river channels despite its tendency to exacerbate downstream flooding. Agricultural land use changes have reduced the permeability of soils and increased paving has reduced permeability in urban areas. Drainage and infilling of wetlands has resulted in loss of natural flood water storage basins. Now, in response to increasing frequency of extreme rainfall events and consequent flooding that is happening because of climate change, Ireland needs to urgently develop and implement measures to reverse the decline in natural flood attenuation. Exclusive reliance on hard engineered flood protection works no longer represents the optimal approach to managing flood risk. Instead, combinations of catchment wide measures are now evidenced as good international practice.Measures include peat bog restoration, woodland creation, incentivised agricultural land use changes, floodplain restoration, wetland protection, and managed coastal realignment. Case studies are presented of projects which have successfully implemented natural flood management, including ‘Slowing the Flow’ project in North Yorkshire and the ‘Room for Rivers’ in the Netherlands. The report finds that strong community involvement in addressing flood risk is crucial, as is the involvement of a range of interests and state agencies in recognition of the wider environmental co-benefits of natural flood management. The study was commissioned by Friends of the Earth with a grant from the Irish Environmental Network. The report is online here.

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Flood Risk

Work begins on major £18 million Newhaven flood defence project The Environment Agency has begun work on a scheme that will reduce flood risk to over 800 homes and businesses and vital infrastructure. Construction work on the Newhaven flood alleviation scheme started on 3 January 2017, after 2 years of development including consultation with the local community. After a competitive tendering process, the Environment Agency has employed the services of contractors JacksonHyder to carry out design and construction of this scheme.

The Newhaven flood alleviation scheme has been developed in partnership with Lewes District Council, East Sussex County Council, the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and South East LEP to reduce the flood risk to approximately 431 homes and 387 commercial properties by significantly improving the standard of existing tidal defences in the East Sussex town.

Floods Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

This £18 million flood defence scheme is a great example of our commitment to better protect the Sussex coast from the kind of devastating flooding experienced in 2013.

All along this coastline, communities are thriving and growing. But we understand the region’s full potential cannot be realised without tackling flood risk. That’s exactly what we’re working with our partners to achieve in Newhaven and throughout the country. Gordon Wilson, Environment Agency Area Flood and Coastal Risk Manager, said:

I am delighted that construction has started and I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Newhaven community for their invaluable feedback and support throughout the design, consultation and planning processes.

In order to improve the current aging flood defences, unavoidably there may be some disruption whilst essential construction work takes place. We always aim to keep any disruption to a minimum and we thank the community in advance for their ongoing support.

When the whole project is complete in 2019, the scheme will reduce the tidal flood risk to hundreds of homes and a significant number of commercial properties in the area, as well as protecting important local infrastructure such as the road network, railway tracks and the train station. This scheme will also support the wider regeneration of Newhaven, helping to bring new investment, jobs and homes to the area.

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Flood Risk

Cllr Andy Smith, Leader of Lewes District Council, said: I am very pleased that work is underway on this hugely beneficial project for the future of Newhaven and its residents.

Most importantly, it will give a high level of protection to homes and businesses as well as the transport network, greatly reducing the risk of a repeat of the 2013 floods which caused widespread damage and upset. In addition, the scheme also supports the wider regeneration of Newhaven and will help to bring new investment, jobs and homes here. Councillor Rupert Simmons, lead cabinet member for economy at East Sussex County Council, said:

We’re delighted that the Environment Agency has started work to improve flood protection for Newhaven. When the scheme is completed it will significantly reduce the risk of flooding, benefitting residents and providing a real boost for businesses in the town. Councillor Steve Saunders, Newhaven Town Mayor, said: I welcome the start of work on these flood defence works by the Environment Agency. This is good news for Newhaven because they will provide much needed

protection to local homes, businesses and infrastructure as well as enabling regeneration to take place in the town. The Coast to Capital LEP and South East LEP are each contributing £1.5 million, as part of their wider commitment to regeneration in Newhaven. This funding has allowed the scheme to start construction in January 2017.

Tony Middleton, chief operating officer at Coast to Capital LEP, said: It’s exciting to see the flood defence project starting to come to life. The LEP has funded this scheme because the construction of the defences will act as a catalyst for the wider regeneration of Newhaven and continue to protect the vital local infrastructure surrounding the area, drawing in new investment, jobs and homes for the area. Chris Brodie, Chairman, South East LEP, said:

South East LEP welcomes this important milestone and is pleased to be able to support this vital project which is important, not only in protecting the existing business community of Newhaven and local infrastructure, but significantly improves future opportunity for investment in new jobs and homes.

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£2.4m repairs to Torcross sea defences completed

Fixing the sea wall cost £2.4 million and will prevent a repeat of the damage from last year's storms.

The Environment Agency has finished repairing Torcross sea defence after damage caused by the storms of February 2016.

Those storms saw large waves hit the sea defence when beach levels were low, causing cracks to appear along the promenade.

The repaired wall cost £2.4 million and reduces the risk of flooding to 51 properties. It is designed to withstand a severe storm, even when beach levels are low. Steel sheet piles have been installed directly in front of the existing line of piles with a new reinforced concrete capping beam. These double-length piles give the wall extra stability. The Environment Agency’s Becky Richards said:

A huge thank you to all the residents of Torcross who have supported our repair work.

The project team worked hard to complete this repair quickly as possible, and our contractor, BMM JV, has done well to complete the works in time for the Easter holidays. Local MP Dr Sarah Wollaston said:

Thank you so much to all those who have worked hard to

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Flood Risk

restore the sea defences at Torcross, and to the community and agencies which came together during the anxious weeks following last year’s storms to get things done. The Environment Agency will inspect the defence every 24 months and monitor the repair during periods of bad weather.

A complementary project is underway to identify the best beach management options for Torcross. South Hams District Council is creating a Torcoss and Slapton Beach Management Plan on behalf of The Slapton Line Partnership, to which the Environment Agency will contribute. Alan Denbigh, Chair of the Slapton Line Partnership, said:

Together we hope to identify the best long-term beach management options to reduce the impact of storms at Torcoss.

We are planning events in summer 2017 for residents and businesses in and around Torcross to talk about the plan. Visit www.slaptonline.org to find out more.

Even with this sea defence, parts of Torcross remain at a high risk of flooding from the sea. High risk means that each year this area is at significant risk of flooding during storms due to waves.

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Flood Risk

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Surface Water Management


Surface Water Management

Scottish Flood Alleviation Scheme Targets Rail Flood Risk

A long-standing flooding issue for Falkirk Council has been protected from peak rainfall risk with a robust stormwater storage solution from Hydro International that saved space and preserved nearby recreational facilities for local residents.

Crossing under the main Edinburgh to Stirling railway, the Chapel Burn has caused repeated flooding close to the town centre of Larbert, particularly in 2006 when a railway cutting was inundated and closed the line.

After considering several solutions, Falkirk Council designed and specified a new cellular storage surface water flood alleviation solution. The successful contractor, MM proposed using the Hydro Stormbloc® modular geocellular storage system. The storage space needed was minimised with a Hydro-Brake® Optimum vortex flow control.

“A hydro brake flow control device allowed us to use the smallest amount of storage required for the back-up volume. We evaluated the solution for attenuation storage and found it provided an ideal combination of effectiveness and low construction costs, in a restricted space and it could be landscaped over thus retaining the popular recreational area,” explains Falkirk Council’s Engineering Design Officer, John Divers.

Initial proposals to manage the risk of seasonal flooding at the site had centred on a permanent attenuation pond adjacent to the railway banking to act as an overflow for the Chapel Burn. However, there were several difficulties with this solution:

Firstly, there were concerns that with the local sandy soil structure, the railway bank would be destabilised by the saturated ground and put at risk. Secondly, there was public concern that the popular recreational area would be reduced in size by a large pond reducing its local amenity. Thirdly, the proposed site for the pond also covered a Scottish Water 1200 mm drinking water main with unacceptable risks to that installation.

As the topography is flat, any solution had to be compatible with the low head parameters. The shallow dimensions of the 1480 m2 Hydro Stormbloc® tank with a

1.01 metre depth, enabled the required 5 l/s maximum discharge from the Hydro-Brake® Optimum back into the Chapel Burn to be achieved without difficulty. The modular Stormbloc® construction, with built-in inspection chambers, allows rapid installation and as it is loadbearing is suitable for turfing over for recreational use. The project was completed by main contractor Murdoch MacKenzie Construction. “The rail line originally had a syphonic device to channel the burn under the bank, installed when the line was built,”

commented Falkirk Council’s Engineering Design Officer, John Divers, “but it wasn’t coping with the increasing flood risk from the Chapel Burn. The railway closure made action more urgent, however rebuilding a larger syphon under the line would have caused major disruption to rail services. “The Chapel Burn can experience very rapid changes in level,” adds John Divers, “and the complete installation was designed with a tailor-made concrete drain channel installed alongside the burn. This acts as a weir, discharging into the Hydro Stormbloc® attenuation tank, and provides instant relief when the burn starts to overflow.

The Larbert area has undergone increased suburban development programmes over several years, and the Chapel Burn winds its way through and around Larbert town before eventually discharging into the River Carron and the Firth of Forth. For more information about the Hydro-Brake® Optimum and Hydro Stormbloc® and other stormwater management products please call 01275 337977, email enquiries@hydro-int.com or visit www.hydro-int.com

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Surface Water Management

A place for SUDS

Laura Grant, CIWEM Policy Advisor

More homes and businesses are at risk from surface water flooding than from any other kind of flood and the problem is increasing with growing urbanisation and development. The Government’s own risk assessment presented compelling evidence that climate change is likely to lead to increases in heavy rainfall and significantly increase the risks from fluvial and surface water flooding by midcentury.

It is right that then, that as we look to significantly increase our housing stock, we consider if it will be resilient for years to come. It’s been two years since planning policies on sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) were changed and data on the effectiveness is sparse: There is no requirement for local authorities to report on SuDS uptake, nor monitor whether they are actually implemented or effective.

Following the Lords’ valiant efforts at seeking amendments to the Housing and Planning Act last year, there is now a requirement for the Secretary of State to carry out a review of planning legislation and planning policies for sustainable drainage in England this year.

Big SuDS survey

In anticipation of this review, Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) and a range of partners including ICE decided to get together the evidence from professionals across the sector. Last summer we launched the Big SuDS Survey and the 24

request was disseminated widely by a range of professional bodies. The survey generated almost 540 responses, which is believed to be the largest independent survey on SuDS in the UK to date. We have uncovered compelling evidence that suggests action is needed to address some real problems on SuDS and surface water management:

• 70% think current planning policy does not sufficiently encourage SuDS

• 75% are not assessing the costs and benefits of SuDS schemes • 75% considered that planning authorities did not have adequate in-house expertise to consider the merits of proposals and opt-out applications • Only 8% think the current standards are driving high quality SuDS

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Surface Water Management

CIWEM launched its latest report on sustainable drainage, reviewing the findings of the survey, at an event in the House of Lords. Members from each of the main political parties, including the Shadow Housing Minister, spoke passionately on the subject of SuDS and in support of the report’s recommendations. The report concludes that the main barriers to widespread SuDS uptake in England are not from cost or practicality but from policy and institutional barriers.

But we are trying to be realistic. We know the government doesn’t want to remove the automatic right to connect and we know that the government is rightly concerned about the pace and scale of housebuilding required.

Need for clarity

We’re not asking for reams of regulation: sorting SuDS doesn’t need to delay house-building. What’s needed is clarity on some key fundamentals.

The survey reveals a clear call for national consistency in approach. So we would like to see: Policy strengthened so that discharge to the sewer system is conditional on the inclusion first of high-quality SuDS in new developments

To support this, we would like to see updated standards—with more consideration of the wider benefits of SuDS—amenity, biodiversity and water quality (the Welsh national standards are a good example of this) But the number one priority is for a clear decision to be taken in relation to adoption and funding maintenance. Any SuDS adopting body should have a clear mechanism for raising funds to ensure their continued effective maintenance and eventual replacement In its review, the government should also look to learn from the devolved administrations. We have outlined the The benefits of SuDS

different approaches in our report: Wales has much broader standards and is looking again at enacting Schedule 3 (of the Flood and Water Management Act); Northern Ireland has ended the automatic right for new development to connect to the sewer and Scotland has had SuDS as a general requirement for some time. So England really is lagging behind. And finally, it is not enough to just look at new developments, we need the government to look seriously at how we can retrofit SuDS into existing developments too. After all, it is in our existing streets that most people live and work, where most surface water flooding occurs and where water quality, amenity and biodiversity improvement is equally important. What we really need is not a box ticking exercise. We want a real review that will consider updating policy and standards to ensure that everyone can benefit from the protection and amenity offered by SuDS.

CIWEM is not alone in calling for this, our findings and recommendations are supported by organisations from across the sector: the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES), Landscape Institute, University of Exeter Centre for Water Systems, Susdrain, Future Water Association, Association of Drainage Authorities (ADA), Cornwall Community Flood Forum, the Construction Industry Council Champion for Flood Mitigation and Resilience, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), WWF, the Angling Trust, Buglife and Salmon and Trout Conservation UK. Together we represent over a million members. CIWEM Chief Executive Terry Fuller said:

“We recognise the urgent need for one million new homes but it is pointless to build in a way that creates flood risk for the future. Our analysis shows that the main obstacles to high-quality and widely implemented SuDS are political and institutional rather than technical or financial so there is no reason why Government should not support stronger policy to deliver sustainable drainage widely.” WWT Chief Executive Martin Spray said:

“The Government’s freeze on sustainable drainage policy is a loss for wildlife and a loss for communities. It is time for clarity: developers must include good natural drainage systems for our homes, and Government must make sure they are maintained. We can make this change affordable and quickly, delivering new defences and new habitats, without slowing down house-building.” The report can be read HERE

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Surface Water Management

Polypipe Provides Flood Alleviation for Retrofit Scheme at ‘Lost’ London River

An ambitious scheme designed to combine engineered and soft SuDS solutions to alleviate the risk of flooding from west London’s combined sewers has seen Polypipe’s Permavoid system used to create two unique shallow stormwater drainage systems that are sensitive to their environment. A third scheme will begin this autumn using Polypipe’s Permavoid system to complete the project.

The project, overseen by Thames Water in partnership with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, will see SuDS solutions retrofitted into a highly urbanised area, in order to potentially mitigate the risk of surface water flooding during periods of heavy rainfall across the Counters Creek catchment area2

One of London’s lost rivers, Counters Creek once flowed through the region before being culverted in the 19th century to form part of Joseph Bazalgette’s new sewer network, made necessary due to an increasing population in London. With further building work heavily urbanising the area featuring many properties with basement levels, the two local authorities and Thames Water have worked together to create the SuDS scheme sites which will be used to monitor performance.

This approach is important since the Counters Creek catchment area lost almost a fifth of its permeable green space between 1971 and 2007 due to urbanisation and no local open watercourses remain. This increased the risk of the local sewer network flooding due to an increase in surface water run-off. 26

In order to assess the varied approaches SuDS can offer, the project saw three scheme sites identified where a number of differing surface water management systems could be utilised in combination with their surroundings. The three ‘typical’ London streets selected met Thames Water’s criteria of being hydraulically discrete and having suitable monitoring points to measure the system’s effectiveness.

The SuDS scheme retrofitted in the three streets of the two boroughs will limit, as far as possible, the volume and rate at which surface water enters the public sewer system. Monitoring performance in the three streets should provide evidence to show whether these systems provide a viable solution that could be applied across a wider area.

Polypipe’s Permavoid geocellular system was used to create part of an engineered stormwater solution for each of the selected locations: Mendora Road in Fulham, Melina Road in Shepherd’s Bush and Arundel Gardens in Kensington. These three separate solutions have been developed with specific focus on their particular environment. The two streets in the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham have been constructed in collaboration with the borough council, their contractors FM Conway, SEL Environmental, consultant AECOM, and with the final designs reviewed by chosen consultant engineering firm ATKINS. The retrofitted SuDS scheme at Arundel Gardens in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea will be built this autumn in collaboration with the council and their contractors.

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Surface Water Management

Harnessing its innate strength and 95% void fill ratio, Permavoid was used beneath permeable paving under both sides of Mendora Road, a typical suburban street in the region. The 3,600 Permavoid cells form an attenuation solution providing 136m³ of stormwater storage. Due to its location directly beneath residents’ cars, Permafilter geomembrane was also specified beneath the permeable paving in order to treat any stormwater contaminated by oils and pollutants from vehicles before the water enters the storage tank.

The scheme also saw 2,345 Permavoid cells employed to create four separate storage tanks beneath rain gardens at Melina Road. Each of the tanks featured Permavoid Permafoam cells to upwardly irrigate the planters and rain gardens above. Wrapped in a Permavoid Permatex Capillary Geotextile, the cells collect rainwater and provide ‘on demand’ irrigation for vegetation. This technique mitigates flood risk during storm events while sustaining plant growth and providing additional green space in an urban environment.

The third further environmentally sensitive system design incorporated as part of the project will see Permavoid installed beneath the road surface of Arundel Gardens, with the established magnolia trees on each side of the road benefitting from a passive watering system that uses some of the stored rainwater from within the attenuation crates.

Martin Bennett, Project Director of the Counters Creek Sewer Flooding Alleviation Scheme said: “The implementation of the SuDS solutions marks an important milestone in the delivery of the wider project which will help alleviate the misery of sewer flooding for local residents. “Together with the proposed storm relief tunnel which will run under both local authority areas, upgrading the existing local sewer network and the SuDS schemes, the ability of the sewer network to cope with heavy rainfall will be greatly improved and we are delighted that in this instance we have been able to work collaboratively to provide such an innovative solution.” Sean Robinson, Permavoid Project Manager at Polypipe comments: “The project is an ideal opportunity to measure the effectiveness of urban retrofit possibilities. The solution is also extremely sympathetic to maintaining the quality of life of residents living in and around the scheme while existing green space has been preserved and even created through the use of Permavoid to enhance the biodiversity of some the locations. It is great that an opportunity like this has actively showcased the technology and solutions with the local community. For more information on Polypipe and its range of solutions, visit www.polypipe.com/wms

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The family of HydroSlide flow regulators accurately control discharge flows to ± 5 % throughout the impounding head range enabling optimum discharge of the storage system. HydroSlides can be configured to provide varying ‘stepped’ flow rates for discharge further optimising tank design.

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www.eliquohydrok.co.uk 27


Surface Water Management

British Water publishes code of practice for SuDS technology In a first for the UK water industry a code of practice for assessing surface water treatment technologies has been published by British Water. The document, which took over two years to develop, has been supported by the Environment Agency and manufacturers of surface water treatment devices. British Water members ACO Technologies, Hydro International and Polypipe joined with the environmental regulator to sponsor an in-depth study of UK rainfall by research consultancy HR Wallingford. The information was key to the development of a robust product testing protocol. British Water technical director Marta Perez said,

“Standards are necessary to demonstrate how well proprietary devices used in sustainable drainage systems (SuDS) treat run-off and remove heavy metals from the water cycle. Until now, there was no standard for testing in the UK. “Conducting tests overseas creates a heavy cost burden which was prohibitive for smaller UK manufacturers looking to sell at home. This code of practice defines the process necessary to measure the pollutant capture and retention capability of any device entering the UK market.”

“The tests can be completed by the manufacturer or at a commercial test facility but must be witnessed by an approved independent UKAS-accredited third-party. British Water is now seeking a partner in the position to install and run testing equipment.”

Helen Wakeham, Environment Agency deputy director (water quality, groundwater and contaminated land) said, “At the Environment Agency we encourage the use of SuDS, and recognise that the right operational guidance is important.

“We have been pleased to work with the industry in creating its own code of practice. I am delighted to see the results, which will further support the implementation of SuDS in England.”

Approval and certification under the Code of Practice: Assessment of Manufactured Devices Designed to Treat Surface Water Runoff will allow manufacturers to demonstrate that their published capture and retention capabilities have been tested. The document can be accessed HERE

The voluntary code of practice allows professionals delivering SuDS to apply a risk-based approach to minimising the environmental impact of the diffuse pollution from runoff. Verifying the capture and retention capabilities of different devices for a range of pollutants gives regulators, designers, specifiers and local authorities the information they need to select the most appropriate technology in a given application.

The tested devices are typically used to treat runoff from urban and residential hard-surfacing such as roads and car parks. Part of the code of practice is aimed at determining three functional requirements of treatment devices: • Typical pollutant capture efficiency for frequent, subannual rainfall events

• Sediment retention capability for up to 1:2 year rainfall events likely to cause washout

• Capability of filter media to retain dissolved pollutants under the influence of de-icing salt

Ms Perez said, 28

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River & Wetland Management


Hydro International launches Hydro-Logic™ Smart Monitoring to help water industry to plan, act and react

River and Wetland Management Hydro International has launched a new range of Smart Monitoring products and services to help businesses and public organisations to understand their water environment and to make better water management decisions. Hydro-Logic™ Smart Monitoring brings together state-of-the-art data loggers, telemetry, databases and consultancy expertise to provide real-world, real-time insight into water and climate conditions, supplying precise hydrometric and environmental data that enables users to anticipate and react to flood events, optimise inspection and maintenance of water networks, expand, upgrade and build new systems and forecast supply and demand years into the future.

Specialising in remote monitoring of water flow, water level and weather, Hydro-Logic™ Smart Monitoring systems can provide automated flood alerts and warnings, or feed a database for data manipulation, analysis or long-term warehousing. The Hydro-Logic™ Services team can also provide a managed service, helping with design, installation, operation and management of complex integrated data collection networks. The team already operates the largest hydrometric data collection network in the UK, with systems gathering ongoing data at over 700 locations nationwide. Hydro-Logic™ Smart Monitoring systems may also be combined with existing Hydro International products such as flow controls, or stormwater separators such as the Downstream Defender® and First Defense®; for example, Scottish Canals have been using a HydroLogic™ Flow Logger to monitor flow alongside a Hydro-Brake® Optimum flow control at a site in Panmure Street in Glasgow.

“Big data has been transforming the way that organisations make decisions, and with this new capability we can provide big hydrometric data that will help organisations to make better water management decisions. This technology provides a more comprehensive, credible and reliable way for water companies and local councils to understand things like flood risk and network demand, and we think it will help them to respond to short-term and long-term water management issues with confidence, reducing their risk and, ultimately, making cost savings.” Phil Collins, Sales Director, Europe, Hydro International

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River and Wetland Management

Project aims to improve river health

firm has funded this type of work in the area and we look forward to seeing the beneficial results for wildlife and water quality in the catchment.” EGGER Forestry’s Tom Coates, Area Harvesting Manager, added:

“Water management in operational forestry has become a major consideration when planning harvesting operations. “Collaborating successfully with other interested parties on this project has provided us an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to safeguarding the environment for future generations.”

A new project which uses natural features to capture silt run-off is aiming to improve the health of a north east river catchment. The Northumbria Rural Diffuse Pollution Prevention Partnership (NRDPP) started in 2014, focusing on improving agricultural practices.

The project now involves the Environment Agency, Tees Rivers Trust, Forestry Commission, EGGER Forestry and numerous farmers. Last year, the partnership installed features such as large upstream silt traps and log dams in commercial forestry areas to improve the ecology of the watercourses in the River Leven catchment. The River Leven is a tributary of the River Tees in Teesside. The Environment Agency’s Ian Marshall, Environment Programme Project Manager, said:

Water quality in our rivers and streams is the best it’s been for more than 20 years and the Environment Agency continues to work closely with farmers, businesses and water companies to reduce pollution and improve water quality even further. England’s water bodies now achieve good or high status in 79% of the many elements measured under the Water Framework Directive and this continues to improve. The European legislation aims to improve the ecological and chemical status of waterbodies.

This NRDPP project will also see the partnership working with local farmers to improve land management through implementing rainwater harvesting techniques, and improving livestock fencing and crossing points to reduce the impact on watercourses.

Images show woody dams and silt traps, just some of the natural features which have been installed to prevent silt from entering the River Leven catchment.

“The NRDPP project has resulted in some excellent interventions over the last few years.

“The Leven is currently failing Water Framework Directive assessment criteria due to silt linked to land management practices. Excessive silt in the water can smother fish eggs and impact on macroinvertebrate and aquatic plant populations.

“We are very pleased that EGGER Forestry and the Forestry Commission have joined us and the Tees Rivers Trust in partnership on the delivery of silt management in the Leven.

“This is the first time a private forestry

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River and Wetland Management

Menzi Muck Spider Machine placing Rock Mattresses over Coconet 800 on river bank

Essential Erosion Control Works on Network Rail Embankment

Salixâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s soil and river bank erosion control products and Menzi Muck Spider were essential for this work on a Network Rail embankment which was being undercut by the River Biss.

Salix were brought in by CAN as specialist contractors. CANâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s works at Laurels Farm consisted of the stabilisation of both sides of a 140m length of rail embankment with the installation of over 1100 soil nails and a Deltax facing system.

Historic undermining of the toe of the embankment on one side of the track by the river posed a particular problem. The design solution was to install a soil nail reinforced scour protection system comprising Rock Rolls and Mattresses over a section of 40m of river bank. The exibility of the Rock Rolls and Mattresses meant that the undulations of the river bank and the tree stumps could be easily accommodated.

Very tight access prohibited using traditional plant, and the initial plan to utilise crane lifts to carry out the works during possession provided scope for an innovative solution to be found to value engineer the works.

The difficulty around access was solved with the flexible nature of the Rock Mattresses and the adaptability of the Menzi Muck Spider machine 32

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River and Wetland Management

Rock Rolls and Mattresses as preferred erosion control products

Our Menzi Muck Spider excavator could install the scour protection working within the river itself. With the machine running on bio oil and silt traps/surface booms in place downstream of the site, this solution allowed the works to be carried out e ciently, in an environmentally safe manner and during normal train running without the need for possessions.

Following installation of the Rock Rolls and Mattresses, the rock netting facing system was extended over the top of the scour protection and secured with head plates to the soil nails previously installed to provide a robust long term solution to the scour.

Protective Rock Mattresses installed at toe of embankment

To encourage regrowth, top soil and river bank seed mix were then applied to the area. The methodology used allowed this element of the works to be completed within budget and over a shorter programme than originally allowed. For more information visit www.salxrw.com

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River and Wetland Management

New fish passes open up 22km of watercourse Two new fish passes on a Northumberland stream are giving salmon and sea trout easier access to 22km of watercourse.

The work by the Environment Agency and Northumberland Rivers Trust at South Low, in north Northumberland near Berwick, is making it easier for fish to migrate and spawn.

Two large weirs were preventing fish movement upstream, but both weirs have been changed to make it easier for sea trout and salmon to make their way to their spawning grounds. It follows work to make it easier for fish to pass through Environment Agency tidal gates at the coast, where the sea meets the stream.

Since then, work has been taking place to make it easier for fish to move further upstream. Robbie Stevenson, Fisheries Technical Officer with the Environment Agency, said:

“We’ve worked closely with partners to carry out a lot of positive work in this area, to look at issues which might be having an impact on fish populations.

The £100,000 project has been part funded by the Environment Agency, supplemented by private landowner contributions and the work carried out by volunteers. Peter Kerr, Director of Northumberland Rivers Trust, who was also designer and project manager for this project, added: “We are delighted to have been able to add these two important fish passes by working in partnership. “The contractors, WL Straughan and Son, did an excellent job in some challenging weather conditions, including the floods following Storm Angus.

“After we completed the lower of the passes we saw some big sea trout trying to get past the upper weir, so we are confident that the lower one works well and that there are many migratory fish trying to return to the South Low. “The recent completion of the upper pass will now let these fish access many miles of spawning gravels.” The weir before the works

“The alterations to the weirs will open up 22km of watercourse for fish and make it far easier for them to travel upstream.

“We’ve worked really hard together with our partners over the years to make dramatic improvements to water quality.

“But there is always more we can do and this project at South Low is the sort of work which is taking place right across the North East and the country to protect and enhance our rivers and streams.” 34

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River and Wetland Management

Fish stocks boost for endangered pearl mussel The Environment Agency releases sea trout with pearl mussel larvae attached in effort to increase numbers in the North East.

Thousands of sea trout have been released into rivers in Northumberland to stock rivers for anglers and help protect the future of a critically endangered species, the freshwater pearl mussel.

Pearl fishing and water pollution from industry have led to worldwide decline of the pearl mussel. A healthy population of endangered freshwater pearl mussels is important for water quality â&#x20AC;&#x201C; each mussel filters 50 to 70 litres of water. They improve the quality of the habitat, increasing the ecological diversity, which includes juvenile trout and salmon numbers.

or sea trout to host them for the first stage of their development.

They attach to the gills of trout in the River Tyne between late July and early August, where they remain until the following spring when they drop off the fishâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gills. They need clean water and gravel, and well oxygenated water where they continue to grow. The survival rate for juveniles has declined over the years, which has led to an ageing population, with few mussels under 50 years old.

This means they are a critically endangered species with only around 30,000 adult mussels in the wild in the North Tyne area, and 500,000 across the country. This work at the hatchery is to try to increase the numbers of juveniles in the river, boost future numbers, natural reproduction and survival rates in efforts to halt the population decline.

The Environment Agencyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Kielder Salmon Centre staff Richard Bond and Jess Anson have developed a technique to enable pearl mussel larvae to attach to the fish gills, replicating their natural life cycle in the wild.

The larvae will drop off the sea trout gills towards the end of May where they will settle on to the river bed. Given the right conditions, these juveniles could survive into adulthood and live for up to 100 years. Around 12,000 one-yearold sea trout, which have been bred at Kielder Salmon Centre, were released this week into North Tyne tributaries of the River Tyne.

The larvae attached to them were harvested from 80 adult mussels which are cared for at the centre.

Richard Bond releasing sea trout

Complex life cycle

Richard said:

Kielder Salmon Centre breeds 360,000 salmon and between 10,000 and 20,000 sea trout every year to stock rivers.

The pearl mussel has a complex life cycle which begins as larvae. These larvae, called glochidia, requires salmon

Pearl muscle larvae

Water quality improvements

After considerable investment, water quality has improved dramatically across the UK and rivers in England are the healthiest they have been for 20 years. The improvements in water quality of the River Tyne and its tributaries has been excellent, and along with the continued work of the Environment Agency and partners, has resulted in improved conditions for natural breeding in the rivers, and a flourishing ecology. Richard added:

In 2010 we first managed to successfully get freshwater pearl mussel larvae to attach to the gills of sea trout. Since then we have released sea trout every spring to the River Tyne tributaries. Over the next two years we will be carrying out surveys, looking for the first of these juvenile mussels that were released to see if or where they have survived. Even at 7 years old they will be less then 3cms long, most of which will be buried under the river bed. In another 7 to 10 years they should be old enough to breed.

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35


Record fine for river pollution Thames Water Utilities Ltd sentenced in the largest freshwater pollution case ever taken by the Environment Agency

Thames Water Utilities Ltd (Thames Water) has today (22 March) been fined an unprecedented £20,361,140.06 in fines and costs for a series of significant pollution incidents on the River Thames. These offences were caused by negligence and led to the death of wildlife and distress to the public. The prosecution saw 6 separate cases - which caused widespread, repeated, sustained and avoidable pollution at a number of sites from 2012 to 2014 - brought together in one hearing at Aylesbury Crown Court. It is the biggest freshwater pollution case in the Environment Agency’s 20 year history. The court heard how TWUL’s repeated illegal discharges of sewage into the River Thames, and its tributaries, resulted in major environmental damage including visible sewage along 14 kilometres of the river, and the death of birds, fish and invertebrates.

The multiple incidents from the company’s wastewater sites in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Berkshire caused significant distress and disruption to the public. Riverside residents, farmers, local businesses, anglers, and recreational river users were all affected. Sailing regattas and other events on the River Thames were also disrupted.

Investigations carried out by Environment Agency officers revealed a catalogue of failures by TWUL management. This involved repeated discharges of untreated or poorly treated raw sewage into rivers, disregarding risks identified by their own staff and failing to react adequately to thousands of high priority alarms used to alert them to the serious problems.

The Court heard how for weeks, untreated sewage, amounting to millions of litres per day, was diverted to the rivers and away from the treatment process, although the incoming sewage flow was well within the designed capacity of the treatment works. In many instances less than half of the incoming sewage was sent for treatment.

It was pointed out to the Court that local residents impacted by the pollution were also customers of TWUL and were paying the company to have their sewage treated to the legally required standards - standards which protect the environment.

36

River and Wetland Management

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, said:

Water and sewerage companies provide a vital service to the community. Where they experience problems through no fault of their own we will always work with them to resolve them but where negligence causes serious pollution, or a serious threat to the environment, we will seek the strongest possible penalties. This case sends a clear signal to the industry that safeguarding the environment is not an optional extra, it is an essential part of how all companies must now operate.

His Honour Judge Sheridan, condemned the “disgraceful conduct” of Thames Water Utilities Limited, which he said was “entirely foreseeable and preventable.”

It was “a very dark period in the history of Thames Water” who demonstrated “scant regard for the law, with dreadful results for people who live in the area.” He congratulated the Environment Agency for their “painstaking and thorough investigation”, and added that he hopes the courts never see the like of such a case again.

When commenting on the level of the fines, His Honour Judge Sheridan, noted this was a record breaking fine for record breaking offending. He asks that the fines must be met by Thames Water, and not be passed onto customers; it was the company, not the customers, who broke the law. Anne Brosnan, Chief Prosecutor for the Environment Agency said:

Thames Water was completely negligent to the environmental dangers created by the parlous state of its works. Our investigation revealed that we were dealing with a pattern of unprecedented pollution incidents which could have been avoided if Thames Water had been open and frank with the Environment Agency as required by water company industry protocol.

The offences caused officers to work around the clock for lengthy periods, responding to reports of pollution, attending to clean up and river recovery and in undertaking very detailed and complex investigations. The ongoing investigation included intelligence gathering, monitoring, interviews and analysis by the Environment Agency and resulted in bringing the company to court to face the consequences.

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