Under bridge sediment causing serious flooding.

edward surridge made this Freedom of Information request to British Waterways Board

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

Dear British Waterways Board,

The problem of silting under railway bridges especially due to track embankments appears frequent because of its very slow build up over decades and no evident policy of responsible stakeholders to assess and remove this form of obstruction.

This FOI request asks what policy if any has British Waterways with regard to addressing this serious concern such as periodic notices to local authorities informing them of this problem contributing to flood danger.

Yours faithfully,

Edward Surridge

Information Request,

Dear Mr Surridge,

Thank you for your e-mail which we received on Wednesday 1st February.

I am pleased to inform you that once we have confirmed the extent to which the regulations permit the release of the information which you have requested a response will be sent within a 20 working day timescale of receipt of your request on 1st February 2012.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
In April 2012 the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

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Dear BW Person,

Please respond as the law of the land requires.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Surridge

Information Request,

Dear Mr Surridge,

On 11th April 2012 I wrote to you for clarification of your request, to date you have not provided me with any. Unfortunately, your original request was not sufficiently clear to enable me to respond.

Section 1(3) of the FOIA states that a public authority is not obliged to comply with a request if:

• it reasonably requires further information before it can identify and locate the information requested; and
• it has asked the applicant for this further information.

In this case, we do not need to comply until or unless we have received a response from you which sufficiently clarifies the request.

In order to help you with this I have made a suggestion below which details the information I believe you might be interested in and I would be grateful if you could let me know that these are correct. Until that time I am unable to provide you with a response.

1. You would like to know which regulations BW follow in relation to reports of accidents and incidents
2. You would like to know how accident and incident reports are classified by BW

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
This summer the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

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Dear Ms Young ,

Please provide the evidence of your described communication of April 11th.

If this is required to be a new FOI I would then question BW FOI policy.

I request additionally clarification on the query immediately above

Yours sincerely,

Edward Surridge

Sarina Young,

1 Attachment

  • Attachment

    RE Freedom of Information request Under bridge sediment causing serious flooding.FOIA020 12.txt

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Dear Mr Surridge,

Please accept my apologies - I believed that you were writing in relation to your more recent request for information of which I am still awaiting your clarification (my e-mail to you dated 11th April).

In relation to this request (FOIA020/12) I attach a copy of our full response sent on 3rd February 2012.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
This summer the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

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edward surridge

Dear Sarina Young,

In your reply it is stated that you do not believe railways represent a big risk ( as causation of additional flooding )as the surface is not sealed so there isn’t fast run – off. Also embankments absorb a lot of water.

Your reply leds to this new FOI request.

What information by way of studies / research or poicies does BW have looking at / recognising the danger of embankments made for road and rail causing extra risk of floding if bridges under these embankments are caused flow restrictions by silting or other blockages?
I request asking a expert to answer this question who understands the speed at which water flows through earthworks that are already water logged and who has seen the effect of flooding which i bring to your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Surridge

Information Request,

Dear Mr Surridge,

Thank you for your e-mail which I received today.

I am pleased to inform you that once we have confirmed the extent to which the regulations permit the release of the information which you have requested a response will be sent within a 20 working day timescale of receipt of your request on 14th May 2012.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
This summer the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

show quoted sections

Information Request,

Dear Mr Surridge,

I am writing further to your request for the following information:

" What information by way of studies / research or poicies does BW have looking at / recognising the danger of embankments made for road and rail causing extra risk of floding if bridges under these embankments are caused flow restrictions by silting or other blockages?"

I can confirm that British Waterways does not hold any recorded information which falls within the scope of your request. However, our Head of Asset management has responded to you below:

" British Waterways own many aqueducts and large culverts that convey roads, rivers and large streams beneath our embankments. These are inspected in accordance with our asset inspection procedures, monthly by our length inspectors, annually by Waterway engineers, and risk based periodic principal inspections by specialist inspectors. The upstream flooding risk created by siltation or blockages (mainly on the river and stream aqueducts) is considered during the assessment, as is the potential for scour of abutments and piers during extreme weather events.

In England and Wales there have been few significant upstream flooding events due to water backing up through these structures. There was an instance of a culvert collapse at Talybont on the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal some years ago that was due to a constriction caused by the past installation of highway service crossings in a section of culvert beyond the canal beneath the highway. This resulted in a surcharge and overpressure in a radial stone lined culvert during extreme weather which subsequently blew out of the toe of an embankment and resulted in a breach. The damage was exacerbated by the type of construction of the culvert and we have subsequently relined some of these culverts where this was justified by the assessed condition and consequence of failure.

Sedimentation sometimes affects slow flowing syphonic aqueducts and culverts but our inspection and jetting regimes deal with these. There have been occasions when trash screens over small aqueducts and culverts have become blocked leading to limited flooding on the inlet side, but these are quickly dealt with by local staff raking the trash screens.

Our overall view is that aqueducts are large enough not to block, and can in fact channel water away safely while the embankments help to contain the problem. The temporary effects of upstream flooding if this occurs are short lived and do not raise pore pressures in the toe of our embankments to unacceptable levels. Consequently there have been no recorded failures due to this effect over the last 20 years."

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
This summer the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

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edward surridge left an annotation ()

In haste I didn't word the last sent request well but am suprised that the information given in response is as far from pertinent as it is.

I shall try again another time.

edward surridge

Dear Ms Young,

I request confirmation that BW recognises the problem of embankments contributing to upstream flooding and has proceedures to remove build up of sediment and other items such as tree's to reduce the problem.

Yours sincerely,

Edward Surridge

Information Request,

Dear Mr Surridge,

Thank you for your e-mail of 22nd June.

However, your request for "confirmation that BW recognises the problem of embankments contributing to upstream flooding and has proceedures to remove build up of sediment and other items such as tree's to reduce the problem" is not a request we can consider in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

As you are aware, the Freedom of Information Act does not require an authority to provide explanations, comments, or justification or any other information unless it is already on record. Neither does the Act require a public authority to create records in order to reply to a request for information, in this example we are not obliged to offer the confirmation you have requested.

However, we have also considered your request as though it were a valid request for information for:

Copies of documentation relating to embankments contributing to upstream flooding and copies of any procedures in place to remove build-up of sediment and other items such as tree's to reduce the problem

I can confirm that British Waterways does not hold any information within the subject area of this request.

If we haven’t reasonably met your expectations in relation to a request for information or you believe we may not have acted in accordance with the above legislation you should write in the first instance to Kelly Radley Head of Customer Relations, 64 Clarendon Road, Watford, Herts WD17 1DA outlining your concerns and asking for a review to be undertaken. Your correspondence will be acknowledged and a review of your case will be undertaken by one of British Waterways’ directors.

Should you remain unsatisfied by the response you receive you are able to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire SK9 5AF www.ico.gov.uk/Global/contact_us.aspx.

Kind regards,

Sarina Young
Customer Service Co-Ordinator
British Waterways  |  The Kiln  |  Mather Road  |  Newark  |  NG24 1FB  | Tel:  01636 675740 | Mob:  07785 295 274 | Fax:  01636 705584 |
This summer the canals and rivers that British Waterways cares for and maintains in England and Wales will become part of a new charity called the Canal & River Trust.
Want to know more? Go to - www. waterscape.com/findoutmore
Follow the BW Customer Service team on Twitter at http://twitter.com/BWCustServ 

show quoted sections

edward surridge left an annotation ()

The eventually helping response gives cause for concern as BW claims to have no documentation recognising the increased danger of flooding caused by restriction of flow caused by years of silting and detritus build up under bridges and through constucted embankment waterways.

Tell a M.P. I guess.