‘Flood report blames water company’

22 11 2007

A report commissioned by Hull City Council has blamed Yorkshire Water for the severity of the summer floods in 2007. The report claims that the water company ignored warnings from as early as 1996 and failed to correct technical issues, leading to the failure of Hull’s drainage system and the subsequent flooding of more than 8,600 homes, 1,300 businesses and 90 across Hull. The inability of the pump to remove water meant that more homes suffered more extensive and prolonged flooding and thus more severe damage. If action had been taken years ago then the June 2007 floods may not have caused so much devastation. Yorkshire Water responded by saying that no drainage system could have coped with the waters and that “The issue is not about building bigger pumps, but of the capacity of the drains and the sewers to cope with the intensity and concentration of the rainfall in these extreme weather events”.

The report predicts future flooding problems in the area, saying that “Until a permanent solution is built, Hull is served by an under-capacity, sub-standard system helped out by two 40-year-old pumping stations.” The report recommends that the pumping station should be modernised and its capacity increased, and although Yorkshire Water plans to invest in and improve the infrastructure, for many this is too little too later. Yorkshire Water is also accused of ‘repeatedly overestimating the capacity of its equipment to deal with heavy rain’ contributing to thousands of pounds worth of damage to properties thought to be safe from flooding. The company are said to be disappointed that the report focused on their problems rather than promoting co-operation in overcoming climate change and the flooding risk it poses to Hull.

Flooding in Hull - June 2007

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/humber/7104996.stm (November 21st 07)