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Flood and Water Management Act 2010 Updates

The 6th (Composite) Commencement Order for the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 will come into force on 6 April 2012. This implements paragraphs 26, 27, 31, 32(1), (2), (3), (5), (6) & (7), 33 & 34 of Schedule 2.

These paragraphs amend the Land Drainage Act 1991 and relate to flood defence consents and the management of water courses. More details can be found on the relevant Defra webpage http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/flooding/legislation/ .

This week Defra also published news regarding responses to the consultation on mandatory adoption arrangements for new foul sewers and lateral drains and Build Standards for new gravity foul sewers and lateral drains. Defra has now formally confirmed that legislation on sewers will not be implemented on 1 April 2012 following concerns raised by consultation respondents.

More information on this is available on the Defra sewers and drains webpage http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/quality/water/sewage/sewers/.

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BGS launches Infiltration SuDS Map

British Geological Survey (BGS) launched its Infiltration SuDS Map at the Leaping into SuDS Conference at the end of February. Tom Fox and Susan Woodhouse from Micro Drainage attended the launch which was well represented by a large number of approving authorities and industry leaders. The launch was a positive event sending out the message that water and its management should not be seen as a threat, but as an opportunity.

The BGS national map provides an assessment of the suitability of the subsurface for the installation of infiltration Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS). It is not intended to replace the detailed soil tests required to determine infiltration rates for SuDS design. BGS states that the map is not a substitute for BRE 365 drain down tests, but, by working through a set of site criteria, engineers can prepare a preliminary assessment of the suitability of SuDS for a specific site.

Details on four aspects of sub-surface information are included:

  • Presence of constraints that must be considered prior to planning infiltration SuDS
  • Drainage potential of the ground
  • Potential for ground instability when water is infiltrated
  • Protection of ground water quality.

A demonstration application has been launched to allow users to explore a small area of the map to see examples of the type and range of data incorporated. It can be viewed here.

For more information on the map please follow this link to the BGS website.

Councils call for anti-flood drainage systems

A ‘safety net’ arrangement between the Government and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to provide cover to flood-risk homes expires 30 June 2013, and a new agreement has yet to be reached. The ABI warned last month that failure to reach a new deal would mean as many as 200,000 homes could struggle to get insurance.

The Local Government Association (LGA), which speaks on behalf of more than 350 councils in England and Wales, has written to Defra Minister Richard Benyon MP and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) in response to councils’ frustration with significant changes in affordability and availability of flood insurance cover. Defra and the ABI have been asked to demonstrate stronger leadership in finding a sustainable solution – one that better protects householders and businesses and reduces the potential costs to councils of dealing with the aftermath of flooding events.

Councillor Clare Whelan, from the LGA’s Environment and Housing Board, said: “Some families are already struggling to find cover for their homes, and we run the risk that tens of thousands more could soon face a ‘double whammy’ of greater risk of flooding while being left unable to get insurance”.

Councils have called for insurers to start taking into account flood risk prevention measures on people’s homes when setting premiums. Steps like raising plug sockets and anti-flood drainage systems can minimise the potential for damage in the event of a flood, but are not currently recognised by insurers.

LGA media release 27 February

 

Busy week of water news

The past couple of weeks have seen the publication of a few water related reports and legislation. We thought you may enjoy a roundup of the news here.

Climate Change Risk Assessment shows the need to adapt

A Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) and National Adaption Programme (NAP) have been published by the Government to prepare the nation for the implications of climate change.  Part of the Climate Change Act 2008, the CCRA and NAP will be reviewed every 5 years.

Increases in flood risk and pressure on water resources confirm drainage as a critical part of urban planning as we try to adapt to manage these effectively.

The Defra Press Release can be found here which includes links to the relevant pages.

Final report on Pitt Review progress

Defra has published the final progress report on implementing the recommendations made by Sir Michael Pitt following the 2007 flooding in England. The status of each of Pitt’s recommendations is included in the report.

To download the report, follow this link.

Progress report on Flood and Water Management Act 2010

A progress report on the measures from the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 has been published by Defra. It includes measures brought into force or published up until 1 December 2011 and a schedule for implementation in 2012, including secondary measures and legislation.

Section 32 and Schedule 3 on Sustainable drainage are listed for implementation in 2012 “Subject to the outcome of separate consultation exercises being held in England and Wales”.

There is still plenty of time to provide feedback on the proposed National Standards and related sustainable drainage consultation, which ends on 13 March 2012.

To read the progress report, click here.

Introduction of Water Industry (Finance Assistance) Bill to House of Commons

On 2 February the Water Industry (Finance Assistance) Bill was introduced to the House of Commons, meeting policy commitments made in the Autumn Statement and the Water White Paper, Water for Life. Two key intentions are to reduce bills for South West Water household customers and to provide contingent financial support for exceptionally large or complex water or sewerage infrastructure.

The Bill is available here.

More information on the Defra website can be found here.

Thames Water building swale to protect homes

In a North London residential area, Thames Water is building a swale to protect properties from flooding. It is the first scheme of its kind to be installed by Thames Water and shows that water and sewerage companies are starting to consider Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS) as solutions for draining surface water.

The swale is due to be 60 by 10 metres in area and about a half a metre deep, with pipes underneath to drain the excess water into a new surface water outfall pipe. The scheme will also include more conventional underground stormwater storage beneath a nearby car park.

More information on the scheme is available on the Thames Water website.

Are there other water and sewerage companies with SuDS stories to share?

PFRAs published online

In December 2011 the Environment Agency published Preliminary Flood Risk Assessments (PFRAs), produced by Lead Local Flood Authorities (LLFAs) in England and Wales, online. The PFRAs are the first part of the planning cycle for flooding set out in the Flood Risk Regulations (2009) which implement the requirements of the European Floods Directive. The Floods Directive aims to provide a consistent approach to managing flooding across Europe.

The PFRA for each area collects information already available on past floods and from existing flood models to identify Flood Risk Areas. The PFRAs are organised by River Basin Districts with the Micro Drainage office location, Newbury, part of West Berkshire Council falling in the Thames region. Included in the West Berkshire Council PFRA is the Thatcham Surface Water Management Plan which included modelling in Micro Drainage software.

Why not have a look at where you live and work?

Link to PFRA Information http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/planning/135491.aspx

Link to Information on Flood Risk Regulations http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/research/planning/125459.aspx

Link to West Berkshire Council PFRA http://publications.environment-agency.gov.uk/PDF/FLHO1211BVSS-E-E.pdf

Code for Sustainable Homes Factsheet

The Micro Drainage team were delighted to receive feedback at their Autumn workshops on the drainage industry issues of greatest importance. One item which came up time and time again was the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH).

To help with using WinDes software to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes Category 4: Surface Water Runoff Sur 1 section, Micro Drainage has produced a Fact Sheet. Based on the work process required to fill in the Sur 1 Summary Template, it takes a step-by-step approach to completing a CSH design. The factsheet is available to download from the company website <CSH Fact Sheet>.