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Urgent probe launched in to drains to prevent a repeat of chaos
10:12am Wednesday 28th August 2013 in Echo News
SOUTH Essex’s drainage system was “overwhelmed” by the freak flash flooding, water board and highways bosses have admitted.
Water rushing through the system was so powerful it blasted off drain and manhole covers in some areas.
Anglian Water, responsible for sewerage, has launched an urgent probe with councils and the Environment Agency into any measures that could be taken to prevent it happening again.
Concern was raised the impact was worsened by poor maintenance of drainage ditches. County Hall confirmed it only cleaned its drains and gullies once a year. In contrast, Southend Council cleans its drains twice a year.
A spokesman for Anglian Water said: “We will take all possible steps to address any problems identified within our network.
Staff are starting clean-ups at properties affected by sewage flooding.’’ County Hall does not plan to review the annual clean, but said it would respond to blockages on an ad-hoc basis, if information came to light.
The same thing happened in Jenna Close, where the ditch flooded the play area. In Campfield Road, the ditch was also blocked”
The Environment Agency, which manages culverts and some storm drains, said: “We are responsible for flooding from rivers and the sea, while local authorities deal with surface water flooding.
“Although the majority of the flooding was surface water, there were two flood warnings issued by us for the rivers Crouch and Roach. We called in staff over the holiday weekend who worked round-the-clock to help clear blockages and extract debris.”
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