Floods of 2007: Green plan to stemming floodwater

Rachel Glossop, Flood Risk Planning manager at Hull Council Picture Tony Johnson.
Rachel Glossop, Flood Risk Planning manager at Hull Council Picture Tony Johnson.
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FOR too long water has been “out of sight, out of mind” buried underground in pipes. The latest thinking on flood management is aimed at reconnecting people with water.

In Hull there are likely to be far more “aqua greens” in future, landscaped spaces, which can include dry ditches, ponds and reedbeds, which help slow the flow of water in times of extreme rainfall. So far seven have been built in flood-prone areas at the end of trunk sewers.

At an average £25,000 they cost a tiny fraction of the £56m vast flood alleviation schemes being built on the city’s outskirts. “In the 1960s and 70s they filled in most big watercourses or put them into sewers, which at the time was futuristic. But as time goes on there isn’t enough capacity in the system,” said Hull Council’s flood manager Rachel Glossop.

Developers have to restrict the flow of water in new developments. But too often water goes into underground storage tanks or pipes. “We’d like people to ask developers for above ground sustainable drainage like swales (low-lying, often wet land) Instead of seeing water as a danger it is embracing the fact we live next to water.” Ms Glossop sees the future as “a combination of hard-engineering solutions, walls and embankments, as well as aqua greens and using open space differently.”