HUNDON FLOODS

Three times in the past year homes and gardens in Hundon have been flooded with foul, sewage water after there has been heavy rain. Although the manholes were overflowing after yesterday’s deluge, I have had no reports that anybody’s home ended up under water.

At Wednesday’s Parish Council meeting, residents vividly described the disscgusting mess they have had to clear up from their homes, gardens and roadside verges. They also voiced their anger and frustration at the lack of action to date from Anglian Water and the failure of AW to attend the meeting.

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Yesterday’s downpour forced off this mahole cover in Clare Road, Hundon letting sewage seap out down the road

 

Two  flooding engineers from the county council – Jeff Horner and Steven Halls attended the meeting with me and asked residents to plot on large scale maps the details and history of their problems. They have since draw up their action plan:

  • Collate flood associated data from past and present;

  • Establish meeting with Anglian Water;

  • Initiate a desktop study to analyse the catchment and water flow rates through Hundon;

  • Undertake a walkover of all watercourses and identify key areas of flood cause;

  • Establish ownership and inform those of their responsibilities and specific actions needed;

At keystages and findings, we will report to the Parish Council on progress.

They also advised residents of Hundon that if they have a watercourse within and/or adjacent to land they own, they are responsible for maintaining the free flow of water through their section. These are riparian responsibilities under Common Law, for which SCC would recommend the following activities:-

  1. Removal of large dead wood and overhanging branches  from the centre of the channel

  2. Removal of tall ‘dense’ vegetation from the bed of the watercourse (including clearing excessive amounts of silt).

  3. Cutting of vegetation/shrubbery/hedges on the banks with cuttings taken away.

  4. Any structures that you own such as culverts or bridges should also be kept clear or removed if dilapidated.

Also it is important that rubbish and garden waste is not tipped into the watercourse and is disposed of in an appropriate manner.

More information on rights and responsibilities can be found in the ‘Living on the Edge’ guide, found at http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/homeandleisure/floods/31626.aspx

Meanwhile, I compiled a list of questions which I have sent to Anglian Water

  1. When was the sewage treatment works built in Hundon? and what size population did it then serve and what was its designated capacity?

  2. What extensions/upgrades have been carried out since?

  3. What size population does it now serve?

  4. Residents have been told by you that at the treatment works there is an emergency overflow which comes into use if the power fails, where does the overflowing sewage go?

  5. Why did AW first seal and bolt down manhole covers along Clare Road, Hundon and then unbolt them?

  6. Is AW responsible for keeping the culvert clear under the gateway to its treatment plant?

  7. Why does AW not have back-up generators in place?

  8. Extensive electrical work is being undertaken by UK Power Networks, in Hundon this month and next, with most houses are scheduled to have no electricity for 1-3 separate days. Is the treatment plant affected by these cuts, if so have provisions been made?

  9. Why are sewerage lorries regularly visiting the Hundon treatment plant?

  10. There is often a strong smell of sewage at the houses on top of Mare Hill, why?

  11. What efforts are AW making to reduce the amount of surface water that enters the sewerage system?

  12. AW staff who have visited the village in recent years have shared their views with residents that the system needs updating. What is the management’s view?

  13. There is very strong evidence that sewerage is entering the water system, what is AW doing to prevent this?

And finally, I also got in touch with West Suffolk MP, Matthew Hancock, and he is now demanding an urgent meeting with the Chief Executive of Anglian Water.

Here’s hoping all this work gets some results – and soon!