The Environment Agency in England has announced that the River Ouseburn has been diverted as part of a major scheme to tackle flooding in Brunton Park, Newcastle.
Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency began the £7 million joint flood reduction scheme in October 2014.
Paul Davison, Northumbrian Water’s project manager, said:
“We know that being flooded is a truly awful experience for our customers and reducing the risk of flooding to homes and businesses is our top priority.
“It is the first time that Northumbrian Water has worked on a scheme which has involved creating a section of new river channel so that the current channel can be used for storage. This is an innovative and creative solution which will enable us to manage surface water in the natural environment.”
The Brunton Park scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to more than 100 properties in Mitford Gardens, Princes Close, Fairway Close, Princes Road, Waterbury Road and Clayworth Road.
Environment Agency Flood Risk Manager for the North East, Phil Welton, said:
“Diverting the river channel further west into the golf course is a major part of this vital scheme to protect homes in Brunton Park, and turning the flow from the old channel to new marks a key moment.
“This project is a great example of how working in partnership brings integrated and sustainable solutions to life, achieving better outcomes for local residents and ensuring projects are delivered with better value for money.”
Work has involved installing 380 metres of new river channel to divert the flow of the Ouseburn from the estate, constructing 650 metres of flood defences (walls and earth embankment) using the current section of Ouseburn river channel and a new storage basin to drain and store more than seven million litres of surface water.
It’s also included installing two kilometres of new sewer pipe and a new storage tank, which will hold up to 450,000 litres of water.
The newly created river channel and storage basin, known as SuDS (sustainable urban drainage system), will also create additional water dependent habitat for wildlife, and a Kingfisher nest and perch will be installed.
Remaining work, which will be completed in July, will involve completing the construction of the flood defence embankment and walls; diversion and construction of surface water outfalls which will discharge surface water from the sewer network into the SuDS basin; creation of the storage basin alongside the existing river channel and reinstatement and landscaping work.