Britain’s first sewerage systems were constructed in the Victorian era and have served us well for generations.
The sewer network we operate today has been much improved over the years. However, it remains under increasing pressure and is sometimes overwhelmed.
Several factors increase the risk of sewer flooding in both our urban and rural catchments. These include increasing periods of prolonged and heavy rainfall, population growth, fewer green areas and changes in agricultural land practices.
Who will resolve sewer flooding?
There are several stakeholders who, like us, have important drainage responsibilities. They play an essential role in easing sewer flooding in our region.
We're seeking to work with all stakeholders to ensure that we implement and maintain the most effective, environmentally responsible and sustainable drainage strategies.
What we're doing
We have a five-year plan that will reduce the risk of sewer flooding for over 2,100 properties across our region and also drive improvements for pollution risk and river water quality. It's supported by a broad range of drainage activities that'll help us to fully understand the factors affecting sewer flooding and pollutions.
Groundwater Impacted System Management Plans
We are working to help protect customers properties and reduce the risk of groundwater entering public, private sewers and drains.
We regularly inspect sewers to identify and reduce groundwater infiltration, which can lead to sewer flooding and pollutions.
In areas where there is a risk of groundwater infiltration of the sewers, following persistent heavy rain, we have developed Groundwater Infiltration System Management Plans. These will replace the Drainage Strategy documents.
The Groundwater Impacted System Management Plan documents explain our short, medium and long term plans to reduce infiltration and they are reviewed by the Environment Agency.
Groundwater impacted system management plans
These strategies were previously developed to explain how we will ease manage sewer flooding and growth-related issues and improve drainage, now and in the future. The Drainage Strategy framework has been replaced by the Drainage and Wastewater Management Plan framework. As this framework and the Groundwater Infiltration System Management Plans develop, these strategies will be phased out.
Stage 1 reports
Sewerage catchment studies
We carried out five catchment studies to investigate whether more properties can be protected. These catchment studies are looking at traditional and new methods to reduce flooding and improve levels of service.
The studies took place in Aldershot, Brent, Oxford, Ravensbourne and Swindon. These areas have been selected based on a wide range of issues which are not all related to sewer flooding.