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Tackling sewer flooding in Aveton Gifford

image depicting Designing ways of re-using rainwater in the school grounds
Designing ways of re-using rainwater in the school grounds
A drop-in event for residents of Aveton Gifford to discuss ways of preventing sewer flooding is to be held on Thursday 9 July from 3pm until 7pm at the Memorial Hall.

Analysis by South West Water shows that historic sewer flooding in the South Devon village is largely caused by too much surface water entering the combined sewerage network.

The water company has set up a grant process to help householders divert stormwater away from the sewers.
Flood Risk Manager Richard Behan said: "South West Water is committed to preventing sewer flooding and we want to work with communities to do this in a sustainable way.

"If we can divert even a proportion of stormwater away from the combined system it would relieve pressure on the sewer and, we believe, significantly reduce the risk of sewer flooding in the village and contribute to better water quality in the River Avon."

The grants will help residents with roofs or hard-standings which drain to the combined sewer divert their surface water elsewhere, for example, into a soakaway or raingarden.

Richard added: "Rainwater is a clean, usable source of water which at the moment is literally disappearing down the drain. With a small amount of imaginative landscaping and planting, that water can be used to enhance the environment both in gardens and in public areas."

Gardening and drainage experts will be on hand to explain the process further and help householders identify the best way they could redirect their surface water away from the combined sewer. Successful applications which achieve this aim will be fully paid for under the scheme.

The project is the latest WaterShed project from South West Water, which is aiming to tackle sewer flooding and pollution in a sustainable way at hotspots across the region.

WaterShed Aveton Gifford kicked off at Aveton Gifford School on Thursday 25 June with an assembly for the whole school to examine the issues.

Landscape Architect Lorna Davis and Drainage Engineer Dave Turner helped Year 5/6 children work out the surface area of the school roof, and how much water that added to the combined sewerage network in a year... the answer was the equivalent to over 13,000 baths of water.

Pupils then looked at examples where rainwater has been re-used in schools, such as building planters and channelling rainwater into them, and they suggested ways this could be done in their school.

Pupil Jenny Abrahall, 11, said: "If you can use rainwater in the playground it's not going to cause so much flooding in the village like it has near my house."


Notes to editors
For more images of the WaterShed day at Aveton Gifford School, take a look at the school's website
A note about flooding responsibilities:
South West Water is responsible for flooding from its combined sewerage network, but not for flooding from rivers or the sea. The WaterShed project is about working in partnership, working with communities, and using sustainable drainage methods to alleviate sewer flooding. WaterShed projects are currently underway in Aveton Gifford, Truro and Exmouth with more planned in the next five years.

Published: 29 June 2015

For further information please contact:

Press Office
South West Water
www: www.southwestwater.co.uk/contactus

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