Council told to tackle drainage problems

Drainage problems and foul sewers are a matter of increasing concern in south Norfolk and must be tackled. That is the message councillors will be told as they meet on Wednesday to discuss measures to improve the situation.

Drainage problems and foul sewers are a matter of increasing concern in south Norfolk and must be tackled.

That is the message councillors will be told as they meet on Wednesday to discuss measures to improve the situation.

A South Norfolk Council report says that foul sewers and surface water drains are a major issue and that there are a number of ways the problem can be addressed.

The document states: “Although the dreadful widespread flooding suffered by other areas during 2007 has not beset south Norfolk, we are nevertheless suffering increasingly from drainage problems. These problems will not go away of their own accord. Indeed if we ignore the reasons for these problems, there is every reason to believe they will proliferate.”

The report notes that most of the district's flooding is rooted in two sources being the surcharging of foul water due to a variety of reasons and flooding with surface water, often due to the nature of the soil structure.

The report says the council has been hampered by the lack of information available on the location of the drainage systems controlled by various bodies.

Most Read

“One of our officers has attempted to originate, for one small area near Wymondham, an all-encompassing plan of all sewers and water courses,” the document says. “The result is quite alarming; it shows in graphic detail how developers have failed to comply with planning conditions and how a system is being asked to accept far more flow than is logically possible. The result is flooding.”

The report says the council encourages householders to take advantage of special offer water butts from Anglian Water and that rainwater harvesting systems, which are usually sited below ground, are a great advance on water butts.

“The incorporation of such systems into all new housing developments could be a major step forward in economies of mains water use and greater control over surface water flooding,” the report says. “The council is in the fore in the use of such systems by giving additional funding to incorporate this technology in a forthcoming affordable housing development. In addition to being eco-friendly, this will result in lower water charges, when utility bills are generally rising.”

Councillors will be told it is imperative that a geophysical study of an area be undertaken before any future large scale development is authorised. Other recommendations include asking officers to continue their work to establish a true and complete record of the range of sewers and water courses. On all but the smallest developments soakaways should not be accepted as a means of surface water disposal - there should be a positive discharge to a dedicated sewer, not feeding into foul drainage. Also rainwater storage systems should be encouraged and as soon as the law allows, should be insisted upon.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter