With up to two weeks of rain expected to fall today, some countries are on flood alert. What can be done to protect your home?
Back in June this year, Lincolnshire saw a month’s worth of rain in just one day. This caused dramatic flooding and affected 50 roads across the county. The increase in heavy and often unpredictable rainfall, together with poorly maintained drainage systems, can make roads dangerous to drive on, or even completely impassable, due to the volume of surface water present. Lincolnshire County Council may not be able to control the extreme amounts of rainfall in the region, but they can tackle problems with blocked drains and look at other sustainable drainage systems (SuDS). These measures can maximise the potential of manufactured drainage systems as well as improve the natural distribution of storm runoff.
Stabilising the Ground
As well as making roads temporarily impassable, heavy rainfall and poor drainage can cause permanent damage to road surfaces. Several complaints have been received about sinkholes appearing on busy roads in Grantham, which even when filled by the local council, quickly open up again. This is likely to be due to blocked surface drains, which cause water to run underneath the road, wearing it away below the surface tarmac. New and innovative materials can be used not only to fix sinkholes but prevent them occurring in the first place. This product range at Easymerchant features geotextile membranes, durable fabrics that can be used for stabilising sinking and uneven ground. Due to their porous nature, they also filter out fine material to help prevent drainage channels becoming blocked.
As well repairing and upgrading drains and road surfaces, drainage systems must be regularly maintained in order to keep them clear of leaves and other debris. It’s also important for the council to be aware of other ways in which drains can be compromised. In a village near Lincoln, residents would like to see a ten-year old issue with flooding dealt with. Every time it rains heavily, a road through the village is blocked by surface water. It’s possible that the roots of a large tree next to the flooded area have caused damage to drainage pipes, and residents believe the drains should be dug up and thoroughly inspected.
Even when drainage systems are in perfect working order, the increasing urbanisation of towns is affecting the capacity of natural systems to cope with runoff from storms. To address this issue, both the local water board, Anglian Water, and Lincolnshire County Council are promoting the use of SuDS in the region. Through increasing and maintaining permeable surfaces, building underground water storage and preserving landscape features such as ponds and wetlands, surface water can be slowed, stored and treated before causing flooding and pollution.
Excessive and often unpredictable rainfall continues to test drainage systems in the region. Dealing promptly with blockages, and the damage that they can cause is vital in order to keep surface water off busy roads and away from nearby homes. In addition, working with natural resources can improve the management of stormwater, and minimise the disruption it causes.