Southern Water uses tankers to fight flooding
Southern Water is using tankers to protect sewers and reduce the risk of flooding affecting homes and businesses, after extreme rainfall over the winter has raised the risk of ground water flooding across the region.
Around 50 tankers are busy pumping out rainwater which is forcing its way into the sewer system in a bid to minimise the risk of the network becoming overwhelmed and homes and businesses flooding from sinks and loos.
Kelly Robinson, customer manager for Kent, said: “This winter the weather has been truly extreme – the Nailbourne River in Canterbury is flowing again – something it hasn’t done since 2016. Rainfall in winter plays an important role in topping up water resources but too much intense rain It saturates the ground and the risk of flooding for our customers increases. We’re working closely with the Environment Agency and councils to reduce the risk of flooding.”
Between November and the end of January the South East received 124 per cent of its average rain fall for the period. At 274mm of rain that’s equivalent to 5.5 billion (giga) litres of water. Bewl Water – the largest body of open water in the region – holds just 31 million (mega) litres so enough water fell to fill it 183 times.
To alleviate the pressure on sewer systems Southern Water has been deploying tankers round the clock – 48 are in use at any given moment – mainly in Kent and Hampshire.
Steve Gilson, managing director of Southern's contractors MTS Cleansing Services, said his teams are working hard: “It can be disruptive for Southern Water’s customers to have tankers parked up and pumping in their village but residents realise we’re there to help and are very supportive. It’s been a massive job this winter. We’ve taken away more than 200 million litres of water and we will be here as long as there’s a need for our services to keep people’s properties dry.”
Rainfall in winter is crucial to recharging aquifers (deep underground natural reservoirs) where most of the water supplied to customers comes from. It can only soak through the soil and chalk slowly so the ground can become waterlogged. This is one reason why the region is water stressed.
In summer high demand challenges the water company's ability to pump from deep beneath the ground, treat it and pump it through its 13,500 km network of pipes, regardless of the volume of rainfall during winter months
- Anglian Water prepares for future challenges with largest ever year of investment Anglian Water has today unveiled a huge £630 million investment programme for the year ahead. Read More >
- Southern Water lays out plans to cut pollution incidents Southern Water has announced a comprehensive plan that demonstrates its commitment to reducing pollution incidents and... Read More >
- Aquabox responds to Cyclone Amphan UK charity Aquabox has managed a rapid response to the Amphan storm in the Bay of Bengal, despite the charity having been... Read More >
- Connecting Greece to the UK with NextGen circular developments A sewer mining project in Athens is testing augmented reality (AR) to drive public engagement. With a very high... Read More >
- The role of safe digging in the UK's economic recovery The UK government looks set to invest heavily in large scale infrastructure in a bid to try and kickstart the economy.... Read More >
- Meet the judges of the Water Industry Awards 2021 WWT chats to some of the judges of the 2021 WIAs, to find out what they are most excited about for this year's awards. Read More >
- Adopting circular practices in the water industry key to mitigating impact of climate change The transition to a circular economy is not only better for the environment. It allows water companies to more effectively... Read More >
- How will water systems evolve to face the challenges of the future? Laura Roberts, water innovation hub outreach and dissemination manager for the Department of Civil and Structural... Read More >