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Southwell Flooding Issues Halam Road / Norwood Park Catchment Area

Sanders A made this Environmental Information Regulations request to Severn Trent Plc
You only have a right in law to access information about the environment from this authority


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We're waiting for Sanders A to read a recent response and update the status.

Dear Severn Trent Plc,
According to the "URS Corporation" September 2015 report on the Southwell Flood Study the possible Phase 2 link with the Norwood Park Balancing Pond under consideration pending planning approval and regulated discharge provisions was discounted when "Severn Trent Water" investigations confirmed that Phase 2 of the "Flood Alleviation Scheme" was not required. (Reference report page 53 paragraphs 3.11.20 to 3.11.22)
Phase 1 of the "Flood Alleviation Scheme" was understood to have been completed in 1998 at a total cost of £301,721.97 and at some time the culvert in question was connected to the watercourse flowing from the so called "Duck Pond" situated on the "Norwood Park Estate". Subsequently the accumulated surface waters from the "Norwood Park Estate" slopes descending to Halam Road and collected in the "Norwood Park Balancing Pond" were directed via dykes and culverts to a smaller balancing pond at Humberstone Road. This balancing pond and its out going culvert is visibly incapable of dealing with the outflow from the " Norwood Park Balancing Pond" and as a consequence bound to overflow and flood the lower lying properties.
Not only does this situation put in question the logic of its creation particularly since the ultimate destination is arguably served by a 50cm culvert ending up in a foul sewer with the disastrous result as witnessed in the 2013 flooding event.
In the light of the above my questions are as follows.

1: Please provide me with all evidence revealed by "Severn Trent Water" investigations which indicated or confirmed that Phase 2 of the "Flood Alleviation Scheme" was not required.
2: Please explain the reasoning behind the connecting of the out feed of the "Norwood Park Balancing Pond" to the "Humberstone Road Balancing Pond" in the certainty that the in feed would substantially exceed the out feed under extreme conditions of rainfall resulting in serious local flooding.
3: Please explain why the final outlet from the Humberstone has been fed into the foul water drainage network with the obvious risk of spreading raw sewage over a wide area of Southwell.

Your candid and comprehensive response will be greatly appreciated by myself and an increasing number of Southwell residents vulnerable to the effects of increasing frequency and intensity of rainfall. Should a comprehensive response fail to be delivered I have the impression that residents of Southwell might consider such a failure to be indicative a desire on the part of Severn Trent Water to conceal information which might not stand up to qualified review and provoke independent examination of the issues.
All the above should be dealt with in the light of the cost of the effects of the 2013 Flood amounted to a sum of £9.8 million pounds, clearly vastly more expensive than any cost of the implementation of the Phase 2 Program had it been implemented concurrently with the Phase 1 works.
Yours in anticipation of a comprehensive response,

Yours faithfully,
Allan Sanders

customer.care@severntrent.co.uk, Severn Trent Plc

1 Attachment

Our Ref: ST/X836871

 

Good afternoon Mr Sanders

 

Thank you for your Environmental Information Request sent to us on 17
February 2019. I’m sorry to hear about the flooding issues in the Halam
Road/Norwood Park catchment area

 

I’ve been advised that the scheme you’re referring to is not a Severn
Trent Water scheme and involves various authorities. We’ve been in touch
with Nottinghamshire County Council about this matter and we’ll contact
you again once we receive further information from them. We do have up to
20 working days to respond to Environmental Information Requests, so we’ll
respond by 15 March 2019.

 

In the meantime, if you have any further queries relating to this scheme
we’d recommend you contact Newark and Sherwood District Council.

 

Kind regards

 

Mrs Susan Thomas

Customer Care

 

Severn Trent Water

Customer Care

PO Box 407

Darlington

DL1 9WD

 

[email address]

www.stwater.co.uk

 

________________________________________

From: Sanders A <[1][FOI #553071 email]>

Sent: 17 February 2019 11:50

To: SR-Ops

Subject: Environmental Information Regulations request - Southwell
Flooding Issues Halam Road / Norwood Park Catchment Area

 

Dear Severn Trent Plc,

According to the "URS Corporation" September 2015 report on the Southwell
Flood Study the possible Phase 2 link with the Norwood Park Balancing Pond
under consideration pending planning approval and regulated discharge
provisions was discounted when "Severn Trent Water" investigations
confirmed that Phase 2 of the "Flood Alleviation Scheme" was not required.
(Reference report page 53 paragraphs 3.11.20 to 3.11.22)

Phase 1 of the "Flood Alleviation Scheme" was understood to have been
completed in 1998 at a total cost of £301,721.97 and at some time the
culvert in question was connected to the watercourse flowing from the so
called "Duck Pond" situated on the "Norwood Park Estate".  Subsequently
the accumulated surface waters from the "Norwood Park Estate" slopes
descending to Halam Road  and collected in the           "Norwood Park
Balancing Pond" were directed via dykes and culverts to a smaller
balancing pond at Humberstone Road. This balancing pond and its out going
culvert is visibly incapable of dealing with the outflow from the "
Norwood Park Balancing Pond" and as a consequence bound to overflow and
flood the lower lying properties.

Not only does this situation put in question the logic of its creation
particularly since the ultimate destination is arguably served by a 50cm
culvert ending up in a foul sewer with the disastrous result as witnessed
in the 2013 flooding event.

In the light of the above  my questions are as follows.

 

1:      Please provide me with  all evidence revealed by "Severn Trent
Water"   investigations  which indicated or confirmed that Phase 2 of the
"Flood         Alleviation Scheme" was not required.

2:      Please explain the reasoning behind the connecting of the out feed
of the               "Norwood Park Balancing Pond" to the "Humberstone
Road Balancing Pond"  in the certainty that the in feed would
substantially exceed the out feed under         extreme conditions of
rainfall resulting in serious local flooding.

3:      Please explain why the final outlet from the Humberstone has been
fed into      the foul water drainage network with the obvious risk of
spreading raw sewage   over a wide area of Southwell.

 

Your candid and comprehensive response will be greatly appreciated by
myself and an increasing number of Southwell residents vulnerable to the
effects of  increasing frequency and intensity of rainfall.  Should a
comprehensive response fail to be delivered I have the impression that
residents of Southwell  might consider such a failure to be indicative a
desire on the part of Severn Trent Water to conceal information which
might not stand up to qualified review and provoke independent examination
of the issues.

All the above should be dealt with in the light of the cost of the effects
of the 2013 Flood amounted to a  sum of £9.8 million pounds, clearly
vastly more expensive than any cost of the implementation of the Phase 2
Program had it been implemented concurrently with the Phase 1 works.

Yours in anticipation of a comprehensive response,

 

Yours faithfully,

Allan Sanders

 

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customer.care@severntrent.co.uk, Severn Trent Plc

Our Ref: ST/X836871

 

Good morning Mr Sanders

 

Further to my previous email, I’m writing to let you know it’s taking a
lot of research in order for us to respond to your Environmental
Information Request. As a result, it’s taking longer than normal for us to
obtain the relevant information.

 

Please be assured you’ll receive our response next week.

 

Kind regards

 

Mrs Susan Thomas

Customer Care

 

Severn Trent Water

Customer Care

PO Box 407

Darlington

DL1 9WD

 

[email address]

www.stwater.co.uk

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customer.care@severntrent.co.uk, Severn Trent Plc

Our Ref: ST/X836871

 

Good afternoon Mr Sanders

 

Further to my previous emails, I’ve now been provided with the following
information in response to your Environmental Information Request.

 

The Flood Alleviation scheme referenced in the Southwell Flood Study
report (URS Corporation September 2015) and the subject of your request,
was carried out in the 1990’s. During this time, Severn Trent Water (STW)
had a capital agency arrangement with Newark and Sherwood District Council
(‘the Council’) which meant that the development and delivery of capital
schemes in this area, such as flood alleviation schemes, was carried out
by the Council. Given that the scheme was carried out over 20 years ago by
the Council and was principally a land drainage rather than sewerage
scheme, we hope you can appreciate that your request is not
straightforward since detailed information relating to schemes are not
kept for such a long period of time and the other organisations involved
have significantly changed in terms of remit and personnel over the past
20 years.

 

We do appreciate and understand your, and your fellow residents’, concerns
about flooding, specifically about the balancing ponds, and we are doing
what we can to investigate this matter and respond to your questions and
concerns as fully as possible. 

 

In response to your three questions:

 

1) Phase 2 of the Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme – We do have a copy
of the URS report dated September 2015, however we do not have records of
the document (reference 20) in Section 3.11.20 that URS refer to. The URS
report suggests that information in this document would help explain why
the concept of a Phase 2 of the Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme was
reportedly discounted. We have no information relating to the STW
investigations which the URS refers to. We have therefore requested a copy
of this document from URS (Newark and Sherwood District Council (1 October
1997) PROPOSED FLOOD ALLEVIATION WORKS AT KIRKLINGTON ROAD, SOUTHWELL:
PRE-TENDER HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN), and will follow up this response once
we have this source information.

 

We have spoken to the Council about the land drainage scheme they
completed in the 1990’s (known as the Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme)
and we can confirm that we did make a financial contribution. Our
contribution was on the basis that this scheme would reduce flood risk by
preventing overland flows from the west of Southwell entering existing
surface water sewers in the Glenfields, Kirklington Road, Leeway Road and
the Lower Kirklington Road areas of Southwell. This was to be achieved by
the diversion and removal of land drainage flows away from the surface
water sewers and the attenuation of flows in balancing ponds with a
controlled discharge to protect the downstream system.

 

At this stage we have no further evidence as to why a ‘Phase 2’ was not
required.

 

2) Norwood balancing pond outlet connection to the Humberstone Road
storage area – The Norwood balancing pond, its outlet and the Humberstone
Road storage area are not owned or operated by STW. They are land drainage
assets which are the responsibility of the landowner with overall
responsibility for surface water flood risk being the responsibility of
the Lead Local Flood Authority, which in this case is Nottinghamshire
County Council. As mentioned in response to the previous question, we do
not have any of the detailed design information for the scheme. However,
from our discussion with the Council, we believe that the system was set
up in this way to:

 

a) follow the natural route of the original watercourse that was in
existence prior to the area being developed;

 

b) allow sections to be culverted to facilitate ongoing local development;
and,

 

c) reduce downstream flood risk by storing flows in the balancing ponds.

We believe the original intention was that these balancing ponds would be
able to hold flows back without over spilling. Any increase in the size of
the outlet could have resulted in downstream flooding.   

 

3) Our records show the Humberstone Road storage area discharges to the
downstream culverted watercourse (which then interacts with our surface
water sewer). Our records do not show a direct connection between the
Humberstone Road storage area and our foul sewerage system. Please could
you provide any information you hold which suggests the Humberstone Road
storage area discharges to the downstream foul sewer and we will
investigate this.

 

We assure you that we have no desire to withhold or conceal information
but we can only provide the information that we have in our possession. We
have been working closely with Nottinghamshire County Council, the
District and Town Council on proposals for further flood defences in the
town and will continue to support this scheme as it progresses.

 

Kind regards

 

Mrs Susan Thomas

Customer Care

 

Severn Trent Water

Customer Care

PO Box 407

Darlington

DL1 9WD

 

[email address]

www.stwater.co.uk

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Dear [email address],
Further to my original request I have acquired The AECOM report issued in February 2016 and subsequently a redacted version of the AECOM report issued in February 2016 by JBA.
As you will see over time and activities of different parties the statements have changed. The first example of the AECOM Report seems to hint at the reasons for not pursuing the phase 2 bypass with the following reasoning (A 700m extension of a (approximately) 1m diameter buried concrete culvert would be subject to a number of technical, economic and environmental risks that would require significant consideration during the preparation of a PAR). It seems to me that there may be other interests at play which may not be justifiable on the part of other actors in the broader picture. Your resolution of this matter is becoming increasingly important in order to prevent a miscarriage of justice.

Extract from URS Report September 2015
3.11.20 j The original Rood Alleviation Scheme was anticipated to comprise the construction of a
concrete pipe surface water sewer beneath Kirklington Road and improvements to an existing open watercourse downstream of Lower Kirklington Road. Flows would therefore be redirected away from the town's surface water sewers into the River Greet. A possible 'Phase 2' link with the Norwood Park Balancing Pond was considered (pending planning approval and regulated discharge provisions), though the concept was discounted when STW investigations confirmed that Phase 2 of the Flood Alleviation Scheme was not required20.
3.11.21 The Flood Alleviation Scheme concept was granted Land Drainage Consent from the Environment Agency in March 19972*. A tender was accepted for the construction of the Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme on 13th January 1998 for a sum total of £301,721.97 raised through contributions from STW, NCC and NSDC22.
3.11.22 The final design concept for the Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme was principally comprised of a 900mm and 1060mm diameter bypass culvert, in addition to the construction of several culverts and concrete headwalls in the section of open watercourse located downstream of Lower Kirklington Road. Construction was understood to have occurred in 1998

Extract from AECOM Final Report February 2016
9.4 Option 3 - Extension of the 1990 's Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme Concept
9.4.1 The rationale and objective of this option is to:
• Extend the 1990's Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme culvert by 700m up to the Norwood Park Balancing Pond to act as a secondary outfall and redirect flows from the upper Halam-Hill catchment.
• Promote the movement of overland flow from Halam Road into the Norwood Park Balancing Pond (and by extension the Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme culvert) through minor topographic changes to the road profile.
Considerations
• This option targets the Halam Hill sub-catchment. It would not confer any benefit to the Potwell Dyke sub-catchment,
• This option targets a reduction in overland flow from the upper catchment around Halam Road. A large proportion of this flow bypasses the Norwood Park Balancing Pond and passes forward into the urban area in the modelled baseline.
• This option would not reduce the volume of surface water falling directly over the urban core of Halam Hill however, surface water flooding may be less severe due to reduced contributions from the upper catchment _
A 700m extension of a (approximately) 1m diameter buried concrete culvert would be subject to a number of technical, economic and environmental risks that would require significant consideration during the preparation of a PAR.

Extract from AECOM Final Report February 2016 as re issued by JBA
3.12,19
In the late 1990's NSDC, STW and NCC collaborated on the construction of a Flood Alleviation Scheme designed to redirect overland flows from the upper catchment around Norwood Park (hereafter the 'Kirklington Watercourse'). The concept was designed to work in tandem with the construction of the Norwood Balancing Pond by reducing the overloading of the existing surface water sewers in the Glenfields, Kirklington Road, Leeway Road and Lower Kirklington Road areas of Southwell".
3.12.20
The original Flood Alleviation Scheme was anticipated to comprise the construction of a concrete pipe surface water sewer beneath Kirklington Road and improvements to an existing open watercourse downstream of Lower Kirklington Road. Flows would therefore be redirected away from the town's surface water sewers into the River Greet. A possible 'Phase 2' link with the Norwood Park Balancing Pond was considered (pending planning approvaland regulated discharge provisions), though the concept was not implemented.
3.12.21
The Flood Alleviation Scheme concept was granted Land Drainage Consent from the Environment Agency in March 199720. A tender was accepted for the construction of the Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme on 13th January 1998 for a sum total of £301,721.97 raised through contributions from STW, NCC and NSDC
3.12.22
The final design concept for the Southwell Rood Alleviation Scheme was principally comprised of a 900mm and 1050mm diameter bypass culvert, in addition to the construction of several culverts and concrete headwails in the section of open watercourse located downstream of Lower Kirklington Road. Construction was understood to have occurred in 1998.

Yours sincerely,

Sanders A

Do Not Reply, Severn Trent Plc

Hello

Thanks for contacting us – we’ll get back to you shortly.

Kind regards,

Customer Care

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case.worker@severntrent.co.uk, Severn Trent Plc

Our Ref: ST/X840898 and ST/X836871

Good afternoon Mr Sanders

Thank you for your further email concerning your Environmental Information
Request.

We note that there are different versions of the Southwell Flood Study
Report and we understand that the differences between these versions of
the report (issued by different consultants) are prompting your questions.

We have contacted AECOM (who were previously URS) and asked why there are
differences, in particular in relation to references to a proposed Phase 2
of the Southwell Flood Alleviation Scheme. We now understand that the 2015
URS version of the report was in draft only and was still to go through a
review and sign off process. We have been advised that the changes between
the draft and the final version of the report are a function of challenges
by those scrutinising and checking the report. We have considered the
content of these reports and associated references and have seen no
evidence to substantiate the phrase in 3.11.20 which states "STW
investigations confirmed that Phase 2 of the Flood Alleviation Scheme was
not required". It is therefore our view that this assertion was removed
from the draft report because it was incorrect and could not be
substantiated.

We hope this has helped to alleviate your concerns and answer your
questions.

We are not the authors of these reports and we are not leading on the
development or delivery of the current Southwell Flood Alleviation scheme.
In view of this, any further questions you have on the Southwell Flood
Study Report or the current scheme, may best be directed to other
organisations who are more directly involved.

Kind regards

Mrs Susan Thomas

Customer Care

Severn Trent Water

Customer Care

PO Box 407

Darlington

DL1 9WD

[Severn Trent Water request email]

www.stwater.co.uk

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We don't know whether the most recent response to this request contains information or not – if you are Sanders A please sign in and let everyone know.