03 July 2015 | Online since 2003

Largest pumping operation ever as Somerset experiences biggest flood



29 January 2014 01:24:06|News,Property News

Largest pumping operation ever as Somerset experiences biggest flood


Flood warnings remain in force for south west and southern England. Heavy showers could cause further flooding in south west and southern England through to Wednesday and people should continue to check their flood risk, the Environment Agency said today.

With the ground already saturated, rivers and groundwater levels remain very responsive to rainfall, particularly on the Somerset Levels and Moors– which are currently experiencing the most significant flood for 20 years.

Environment Agency teams continue to operate up to 62 pumps, 24-hours a day, to drain an estimated 1.5 million tonnes of water (equivalent to 600 Olympic-sized swimming pools) off an area of the Levels spanning 65 square kilometres – the biggest pumping operation ever undertaken in the county.


There is also a risk of groundwater flooding in Hampshire until Wednesday. Parts of Wiltshire, Dorset, Hampshire, West Sussex, West Berkshire and Surrey may also experience localised groundwater flooding over the next five days.

The Somerset Levels has a history of flooding dating back centuries. The tidal range in the Bristol Channel is the second highest in the world – with high tides causing flood water to back up along the rivers across the Levels and Moors.


Currently, around 40 properties have flooded on the Levels, while defences have protected over 3,500 properties and 200 square kilometres of land within the Parrett and Tone, and Brue and Axe catchments.

The Environment Agency will be working with Government, the local council, Internal Drainage Boards and other partners on a long-term action-plan for tackling flood risk on the Somerset Moors and Levels.

Since early December, flood schemes have defended more than 1.1m homes and businesses and protected nearly 2,500 square kilometres of farmland across England.

Kate Marks, Environment Agency flood risk manager, said: “The country has faced an extraordinary combination of weather conditions over the last six weeks and our thoughts are with those communities that have and are experiencing flooding.

“We are doing everything we can to pump water off the Somerset Levels and have 65 pumps working 24-7 in the biggest pumping operation ever undertaken in the county.

“Nationally we spent £45m in the last financial year on river clearance, including dredging and weed removal and de-silting work was last carried out on pinch points on the Parrett and Tone rivers in November. However, dredging is often not the best long term or economic solution and increased dredging of rivers on the Somerset Levels would not have prevented the recent widespread flooding.”

Download




Comments


29-01-2014 21:34 PM | Posted by: Bill Courtney
Modern large field farming has reduced the water holding capacity of our agricultural land and the accelerated soil erosion is silting up our rivers and land drains.
We should consider returning to the smaller, more sheltered farm fields of the early Victorian era, but use teams of robot tractors instead of labour intensive horse drawn ploughs, in order to keep food production costs down.
As a bonus, the build-up of water holding humus in the soil would trap carbon dioxide and reduce the climate change that is probably aggravating our flooding problems.
“Modern Victorian” flood reduction farming is discussed on the Cheshire Innovation web site, www.cheshire-innovation.com.

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


Start Date: 18 June 2015
Job for Herdsman / Farm Worker for 250 cow family dairy farm.  Staffordshire

Herdsman / farm worker job on a dairy farm . Help urgently needed for 250 cows, milked through h-b 20 s/o >...


Start Date: 24 June 2015
Experienced stockperson required on large mixed farm in >>Northamptonshire<<

We require an efficient dedicated person to help manage our beef enterprise of 600 head to very high standards

knowledge ...


Start Date: 3 July 2015
M486: Biosolids Advisor - Bucks/Beds/Herts

Advisory and liaison role, working for a leading UK company which is well known within the Agricultural Sector. Day to day re...


Start Date: 13 June 2015
New Zealand Dairy Farming - Paid Internships - Great opportunities

New Zealand Dairy Farming - Paid Internships - Great opportunities

Have you worked in the Dairy Industry for at least 1 y...


Start Date: 3 July 2015
C171: Ruminant Support Specialist

De Lacy Executive is currently searching for a Ruminant Support Specialist to promote our international client within the Sou...





Top stories you may have missed
5 June 2015 | Cattle

A strong pound and increased red meat imports coupled with a plentiful dome...


5 June 2015 | Arable

Depression is affecting Wales' farming industry and there is a need to use ...


5 June 2015 | Arable

With just one week to go before the final judging and announcement of the w...


5 June 2015 | Finance

A rural law expert has highlighted the importance of good succession planni...


5 June 2015 | Farmshops

A south Yorkshire dairy farming family is pulling out all the stops to prom...


4 June 2015 | Finance

Predicting what is going to happen to wheat prices is a challenge, but in s...


4 June 2015 | Agri Safety

A Lancashire based livestock theft prevention scheme is aiming to go nation...


4 June 2015 | News

A female farmer has been recognised by the farming and conservation industr...


4 June 2015 | Finance

The new Conservative government appears to be preparing to implement cuts f...


4 June 2015 | Arable

The Rural Payments Agency (RPA) will have mobile support units at the follo...