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Innovative scheme to reduce sewer flooding in Aveton Gifford

image depicting Pupils at Aveton Gifford Primary School help design sustainable drainage
Pupils at Aveton Gifford Primary School help design sustainable drainage
Work will start on Monday (8 February) on an innovative scheme to reduce sewer flooding in the South Hams village of Aveton Gifford.

South West Water has been working with the parish council, the school and local residents to reduce the amount of surface water entering the combined sewer.

Water flowing off roofs, hard-standings and other impermeable areas has sometimes overloaded the sewerage network and caused it to overflow.

The WaterShed Aveton Gifford scheme will provide a new surface water pipe to take rain water from the school, the car park and the Memorial Hall and direct it into the stream. This will remove around 25 per cent of the surface water and return capacity to the sewerage network, reducing the risk of sewer flooding.

Under the scheme a 14 metre long swale - or planted ditch - will convey water across the grassy area behind the Memorial Hall. This will filter and slow the rain water before it flows into the stream, as well as providing a wildlife habitat and additional drainage for that area.

Around 40 households will be offered a free downpipe disconnection using sustainable drainage methods to reuse or store water in their garden.

The project is working with the school to build landscaping features like planters which store water on site. These works are likely to be completed during the summer holidays.
South West Water Flood Risk Manager, Richard Behan, said: "There are many innovative ways of working with communities to reduce flooding and pollution and this project in Aveton Gifford is a good example of what can be done.

"Often what is needed is to reduce the volume of water going into the combined sewer for a short period when rainfall is at its most intense.  This scheme will enable the sewerage network in the village to operate as it should without overflowing, and we hope this will remove the incidence of sewer flooding in the village."

Work on building the surface water pipe and swale will start behind the village hall on Monday 8 February. Work in the road will be completed during half term week (February 15-19). There will be two-way traffic lights in place during that week and the aim is to remove these before term re-starts. All works are scheduled to be completed by 26 February.

Notes to Editors

  • South West Water provides water and sewerage services to over 1.7 million people across Devon, Cornwall and parts of Somerset and Dorset
  • South West Water operates over 640 sewage treatment works and 29 water treatment works
  • South West Water maintains 15,570km of public sewers and 15,200km of water mains
  • South West Water supplies around 350 mega litres (77 million gallons) of drinking water every day
  • On average, half a billion litres of sewage arrives at South West Water's treatment works every day.

Published: 4 February 2016

For further information please contact:

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

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