Anglian Water has set-out a five-point action plan detailing the steps it is taking in response to recent flooding in Southend.

The plan continues work that has been in progress for several months, but goes further to address issues raised in the independent flood investigation for August 2013, currently being approved by Southend Borough Council.

The water company is working closely with all organisations that share responsibility for the drainage network, including the lead local flood authority Southend Borough Council; the highways authority; the Environment Agency; and any other owners or managers of drains and sewers. The organisations are working together to investigate and take action where needed in flooding hotspots.

Anglian Water’s Flood Risk Manager, Jonathan Glerum, said:

“If we’re to bring about improvements that reduce the risk of flooding in Southend, every agency responsible for drainage needs to work together, and that includes Anglian Water.

“We have had a number of very productive discussions with Southend Borough Council since August 2013, and we’ve pledged our full support to help them update their Surface Water Management Plan to include the areas most affected recently.

“We’ve also pledged to share any new drainage models with the Council to assist this, and to look for projects we can both work on that will deliver the greatest benefits locally.

“This is all in addition to our existing programme of work.”

Anglian Water’s five point plan details the work it will do to:

1. Build on the £275,000 we have invested since 2011 on foul, surface water and combined sewer network models for Southend. The water company has pledged to share the data from these models to help Southend Borough Council update its Surface Water Management Plan to include areas affected by flooding recently and help resolve the problems for the future.

2. Carry out a survey of all its assets along the seafront and City Beach, plus, in the interests of working more closely, to incorporate the Council and Highways drains too. This will support the Council’s own modelling of Marine Parade.

3. Make a funding pot of more than £8 million available over five years for flood partnership projects across the East Anglian region. This will enable councils and other organisations across the region to bid for funds to deliver improvements that will prevent flooding inside people’s homes, even if the solutions are completely unrelated to Anglian Water’s own network and assets, and is in addition to Anglian Water’s existing planned programme of investment. This pot of money has been set aside specifically to overcome the challenges presented by the complex, interconnected drainage network that exists in every town and city, and it will be available from April 2015, subject to approval (by the regulator, Ofwat) of Anglian Water’s business plan in December 2014.

4. Set aside hundreds of thousands of pounds for regular jetting and maintenance of Anglian Water’s sewers and assets in Southend, including regular cleaning of grilles, wet wells and other assets, and carrying out checks of sewers in areas that are more susceptible to flooding during heavy rain, to keep them clear of debris and blockages.

5. Install a stand-by pump at Eastern Esplanade as a reserve. This £17,000 investment will give protection should the first pump get into difficulties. The pumps at Chalkwell Pumping Station have also been refurbished.

Jonathan continued: “We want to reassure residents and businesses in Southend that we take the issue of flooding very seriously.

“Where we can identify a problem or a cause of flooding, and where it is our responsibility to put it right, we will.”