With the growing population, an increasing demand for housing and the impacts of climate change, flooding is a significant problem and threatens more communities across the UK.
Flooding can come from various sources:
- Rivers – fluvial
- Surface water – pluvial
- Ground water
- Overloaded sewers or surface water drainage
- The sea
- Burst pipes
It is believed that the effects of climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of rainfall. UKCIP (UK Climate Impacts Programme) estimate that climate change over the next 25 years will increase peak rainfall intensity by 30% and flows of larger watercourses by 20%. This will affect smaller urban catchments seriously, leading to rapid runoff, watercourse and surface water flooding, surcharging of gullies, drains and sewers.
In 2016 we were approached by the Environment Agency to provide a flood warning system for a local resident’s flood group at Waterhouse Green in Lancashire. An area which had been badly flooded in December 2015. As a result of the flooding funding had been agreed a community-led flood warning system to provide the residents with prior warning of high water levels, enabling them to protect their properties from flooding in the future.
A telemetered water level monitoring system was supplied and installed by Aquasition upstream of the bridge at Waterhouse Green. The bridge creates a pinch point during high river events causing the water to back up and overtop the banking.
The system installed consists of a water level sensor connected to a battery powered telemetered data logger. The logger is designed for long term deployments with circa three years of operation between battery replacements. Under normal river levels readings are taken every 10 minutes. A series for four alarm levels warn 16 residents via email and SMS of raising water levels and the actions that should be taken. Access to historical level data and alarms is provided via a web portal.