Appeal to Harlow landowners to clear private drains and ditches

News / Mon 13th Dec 2021 at 06:37am

ESSEX Highways is reminding landowners and people with gardens next to county roads to do their part to help minimise highways flooding this winter by clearing private drains and ditches.

Over 300,000 known drains and related drainage assets are situated on Essex roads.

Using specialist gully pumps and jetting tools, Essex Highways work teams move around the county area by area carrying out routine cyclical cleaning, as well as ad-hoc responses to problems, in order to alleviate the effect that rainfall has on flooding.

In October alone over 9,000 roadside gullies and catchpits were cleared by the busy cleansing teams.

However, a team effort is needed to minimise the flooding before it occurs. Essex Highways appeals to people responsible for private drainage and ditches to ensure they are cleared and draining properly – ditches in fields and on boundaries are critical for stopping water simply flowing into the highway. Ditches also limit the amount of soil and stones that can wash onto footways and roads.

Gardeners can play their part too – by clearing leaves, twigs and branches from front gardens, less debris will be washed into drains and gullies, helping them stay clear.

Councillor Lee Scott, Essex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways Maintenance and Sustainable Transport, said: “Flooding is an issue that has to be dealt with, not just in the county but globally. Whilst we work hard to try and reduce flooding where we can, it is important that we work together as partners to help alleviate the problem for the good of the community.”

Despite all this work some roads will still flood under the heaviest downpours or after prolonged rain or snow. It can take several hours for even recently cleared drains to evacuate a large volume of water, because the drains simply move water from the road to somewhere else such as streams, rivers, and utility water systems that may already be full. Close to the coast, high tides can make things worse. So, after heavy rainfall, Essex Highways ask that you please wait a few hours before you report flooding on a road.

Essex Highways’ ability to manage their owned gullies, catchpits, channels, and pipes is increasing. With nearly seven years data on flood risks, silt levels found in each drain other reported issues such as tree roots growing through pipes collected, it means the most troublesome drains receive more attention. Working together is key to keeping roads flood free.

Please report highway drain/flood issues online at https://www.essexhighways.org/tell-us/flooding-drainage-and-manhole-covers

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4 Comments for Appeal to Harlow landowners to clear private drains and ditches:

2021-12-13 08:07:31

Shall we do the potholes at the same time?

martin chapman
2021-12-13 09:24:24

they do they fill them with the left over water

2021-12-13 13:32:09

I reported the sorry state of 3rd Avenue by the water gardens car park some 10 months ago on fix my street and they filled the deepest hole and left the rest, Think i ave about 40 outstanding reports that have not been rectified with some going back 2 years.

John Curry
2021-12-13 15:37:31

Perhaps Cllr Scott and Essex Highways could set a good example by fixing the blocked drain on the cycle path on 2nd Ave / Tripton Road, by St Mark's school. It has flooded there for years and now it is a permanent feature of the route; just watch people in wheelchairs and pushing buggies trying to negotiate the mess. Cllr Scott can ask Cllr Hardware for details, I've told him enough times!

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