New scheme protects village from flooding over Christmas holidays

TVO Cannington

A flood prevention scheme in Somerset, which opened during autumn 2017, has been called into action three times in recent weeks.

A new 2km-long flood alleviation channel, created as part of the Cannington Flood Defence Scheme, operated three times over the festive period – including Christmas Day itself (see pic below) – keeping the brook which runs through the village below flood alert level.

TVO cannington MeriMatt Figes, Team Van Oord Regional Framework Manager, said: “This is fantastic news for the residents of Cannington and the Parish Council who contributed towards the scheme.”

The £4.5m scheme – which was officially opened in September 2017 by the Chair of the Environment Agency, Emma Howard Boyd – has greatly improved flood protection for around 200 homes and businesses in the village, which has a long history of flooding from the Cannington Brook.

The new flood defences, designed and constructed by Team Van Oord on behalf of the Environment Agency, are built to at least a 100-year standard which means there is now only a 1% chance of flooding in any year.

The new flood alleviation channel was required after the old brook, built in 1984, was deemed unfit to cope with present and future flood flows.

The new channel, which allows for four times the capacity, takes a new route for the first kilometre before passing under the A39 and re-joining Cannington Brook beyond the village.

The four culverts installed under the A39 – the main access road to the Hinckley Point nuclear power station and a busy tourist route to the resort of Minehead – feature ‘hydro-brake’ technology, a series of cone-shaped funnels which accept large volumes of water, swirl it round to reduce speed of flow, before releasing it.

In November 2017 the Cannington scheme received a Green Apple Environment Award, which recognises, rewards and promotes environmental best practice around the world.

03 January 2018