Kirkley stream

A pile of wooden pallets, plastic rubbish, tree and hedge trimmings have been hauled from the Kirkley Stream in Lowestoft following last week’s heavy rainfall. 

A pile of wooden pallets, plastic rubbish, tree and hedge trimmings have been hauled from the Kirkley Stream in Lowestoft following last week’s heavy rainfall.

Anglian Water removed the debris which had washed from the river onto the water company’s screen that protects its pumping station.

It’s thought the items are being washed downstream when it rains heavily as river levels rise. The debris increases the risk of flooding to residents living near the stream.

Flood partners including Waveney District Council, Suffolk County Council, the Environment Agency and Anglian Water have been working together to reduce the risk of flooding in the area, since the problems in 2015.

Now, every time a heavy downpour is predicted, Anglian Water goes out in advance to clear the screens that keep debris out of its sewers and pumps near Kirkley Stream. After a storm, the same exercise is repeated to keep the equipment working as it should. The Council and Environment Agency are working on their own drainage infrastructure in the area.

Anglian Water’s flood risk manager, Jonathan Glerum, who sits on the Lowestoft Flood Risk Project said: “This is not natural debris from the environment and shouldn’t be in the river because unfortunately it reduces the flows of this important watercourse and can have a devastating impact if it’s washed downstream. We’re working hard to keep the screens on our pumping station clear but we’d like the help of residents to spread the word about the problem and the impact this has.

“Longer term we are exploring the possibility of extending our RiverCare scheme to Lowestoft. Anglian Water supports volunteers in a number of areas to look after their local stretch of river, and Kirkley Stream could potentially benefit from this type of community and company approach.”

Anglian Water is fully supporting the Lowestoft Flood Risk Management Project which is currently out for consultation with residents until the 29 July, 2016. More information can be found here.

Part of this wider strategy is Anglian Water’s other flood schemes in the Lowestoft area, including a £2million flood scheme in the All Saints Road area which will be complete soon.

This scheme is just some of the projects in the offing from the flood risk Partnership in partnership with Suffolk County Council, Waveney District Council and the Environment Agency.

 The consultation is available to view here.