Can Your Drains Survive The Next Flash Flood?
What is a Flash Flood?
A flash flood is where water accumulates quicker that is can be absorbed into the ground or dealt with by the drainage systems. This happens most often in built-up, urban areas where lots of rain falls in a short space of time, overwhelming the drainage system and resulting in a great accumulation of surface water.
More often than not, flash floods in the UK are the direct result of inadequate drainage in urban areas. If the drains are too outdated or narrow they will not be able to deal with the high volumes of water that we regularly experience, or if the area the drainage system serves has significantly expanded, the drains will be overloaded when the ground becomes saturated during heavy or frequent rainfalls.
In September 2012 Northumberland was swamped by heavy rainfall which flooded homes and meant 40 people had to be rescued from their homes in Morpeth while a further 50 properties around Wearside had to be evacuated.
The flood water was so fast flowing that there were reports of cars being washed downriver as the River Wansbeck breached local flood defences and schools were closed early because of dangerously heavy rain.
As a result of the sudden weather conditions, the Environment Agency declared a major incident, with 73 flood warnings. So, if this happened where you lived, could you be sure your drainage system will cope with the excessive volumes of water and protect your home from flooding?
If your drains sometimes overflow when the weather is bad, it’s the first sign that they may not be able to cope with torrential rain should there be a flash flood in your area. This is unlikely in new-build areas, but if your drainage system is older – 20-30 years or older – there’s a good possibility that they weren’t designed to cope with the demands they are put under now.
The best way to find out if your drains could stand up to extreme weather is to have a drainage survey undertaken.
A professional company like ClearFirst can look into the deepest parts of your drainage system using advanced CCTV equipment that will reveal any problems, such as old or deteriorating pipes and any damage, such as cracks or blockages. They can also provide drain cleaning and jetting services that will ensure waste water can flow freely through your drains and remove any build-ups of dirt and grime that could cause a problem in the future.