Counters Creek was originally a stream that flowed from Kensal Green south to Chelsea Creek. It formed an important part of natural drainage in the area but over the years has been filled in, covered and diverted and only small sections remain visible.
The Counters Creek Flood Alleviation Scheme (CCFAS) was developed following widespread basement flooding caused by intense rainfalls in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea and the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.
The flood alleviation project was completed at the end by March 2020 in order to protect homes and reduce the risk of basement sewer flooding in these two boroughs.
The measures included in the Counters Creek flood alleviation scheme were:
We have been constructing flood protection measures for many basement properties affected by flooding since 2007. These measures included:
These measures helped to reduce the number of reported flooding incidents significantly. Further intense rainfalls experienced in recent years indicated that these measures have been effective in the reduction of flooding risk to basement properties.
We have therefore continued with this approach, namely the construction of local schemes and installation of FLIPs, in order to protect the remaining basement properties with reported flooding in the area. In addition to these, we worked in partnership with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to implement several Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, also known as SuDS, to reduce peak flows into the sewer network.
As part of our local approach, we have installed FLIPs, are local protection devices in the form of a small pump, which is fitted in the basement, light well or road to protect properties from flooding. Since 2007, we have installed 1184 local protection devices to the individual or adjoining properties in the area.
As part of the scheme, we constructed eight local schemes to increase the sewer capacity and provide flood protection for multiple properties. These local schemes were constructed at:
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems, or SuDS, are an important way of managing flows in the catchment, which is a key part of reducing the risk of flooding in the long term. Between 2010 and 2015 we worked with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, to implement three sustainable drainage systems at Melina Road, Mendora Road, and Arundel Gardens. These were trials to assess the performance of different types of drainage systems in reducing flows into the sewer system.
Based on the results of the trials, we worked alongside the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham to implement a further five sustainable drainage systems in the catchment. These involved replacing the parking bay area of certain roads surface with permeable paving, allowing rainwater to filter through into the geocellular storage structures underneath the road where it is stored and then slowly released to the sewer system at a reduced rate. You can see an example of permeable block paving and a rain garden on Godolphin Road in the picture below.
The locations of the completed SuDS are:
This approach to flood alleviation was chosen following extensive investigations and consultation with the local community between 2010 and 2015. One of the many options tabled was to construct a storm relief sewer tunnel. We moved away from this option as:
In recent years, there have been a large number of basement conversions in London. Many basements have been deepened or dug out to create living spaces. The government’s legislation (Building Regulations, 2000) require the provision of adequate drainage by the developer. The Drainage and Waste Disposal Document H 2002 edition - sections 2.9 to 2.12 also include the need for pumped drainage in high-risk areas and an anti-flooding valve in low-risk areas, these should be installed by the developers of the property. We discovered that some basement developers had complied with the requirements of the Building Regulations and that these basements no longer flooded. It is therefore important that compliance with building regulations is followed by anyone who has developed a basement property since these regulations were established. Thames Water will not offer protection to those who have not complied with the Building Regulations or the local authority planning requirements.