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Two of us met with two people from Thames Water today. Thames Water are getting on with the first stages of their Oxford Catchment Study, designed to find out why we get sewer flooding in many parts of Oxford. Some technical studies have already been done, house to house interviews with residents in affected areas will begin quite soon. A dedicated website should be up and running shortly, possibly as early as next week.
We are delighted that this study is happening – Oxford is one of only five places in Thames Water’s area to be having such a detailed study. This is a necessary first stage in, hopefully, getting action to remedy the problems. We are helping in any way we can.
This study will be used, along with other evidence, to guide Thames Water when they consider how much the proposed Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme would help solve sewer problems – and hence, presumably, how much they could consider contributing to that multi-partner scheme.
Thames Water agree how important it is that when new building is proposed that there is adequate prior consideration given, i.e. at the planning stage, to whether the sewer system will be able to cope.
Our 8th Annual Public Meeting attracted a good audience, including local politicians. This year we had three guest speakers as well as presentations from OFA on matters concerning local areas.
John Copley and Barry Russell were made OFA Flood Stars. John has expertly chaired the Oxford Area Flood Partnership since its inception in 2007. Working behind the scenes, he and the partnership have achieved a very great deal in this time. Meanwhile, a well known presence in his waders in every recent flood, Barry, from the Environment Agency, is a key figure in managing flooding on the ground. He has also been involved in many of the flood prevention measures taken here in recent years. We are immensely grateful to them both for all they have done, all the hard work and long hours put in. They have made a real difference.
Ben Ward spoke about Oxford Flood Network’s plans to install water level monitors in the Oxford area to provide live information on water levels, to a computer or smartphone, during flooding, on a much more local scale than at present available. This is an exciting prospect and we welcome it. Ben is looking for people who are prepared to have a (compact) sensor device sited, say, in their garden, or other suitable location.
Nick Ross and Matthew Rose presented Thames Water’s plans for a three-year comprehensive survey (already just begun) of main sewers throughout the Oxford area. This is very welcome as there have been many serious problems with foul sewer overflow, especially during floods.
Richard Harding and Barry Russell of the Environment Agency explained the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme. This c. £125 million scheme is intended to reduce the risk of flooding in Oxford to once in 75 years (though some areas may still be affected more often) – assuming that climate change does not conspire to make things worse (as it well may). A lively discussion ensued, which will no doubt be continued elsewhere.
Thank you to everybody who came and for the generous donations to support our work.
19 March 2014
‘Enough is Enough’ – read more about Oxford’s flooding and the Western Conveyance proposal.
Caveat and disclaimer: this article is written in good faith as our best understanding at the time of writing, March 2014. However very little is decided for sure, and things can and will change, the scheme may never even happen, so nothing said here should be taken as gospel or relied on for taking important decisions.
18 August 2010
We met the EA recently about the proposal to make Lamarsh Road the route for flood water rather than Earl Street. Further modelling has been done by the EA but was not completed when we met. The modelling continues and we have asked this week for an update.
Our concern is that the model, on which decisions will be based, is completed, and a decision made, before the deadline of Kingerlee starting work on their site. Kingerlee are very cooperative but understandably have to proceed with their own work.
Our MP, Nicola Blackwood, is strongly supportive – but she too awaits a clear plan before she can make representations about funding.
We hope the EA will produce their advice in time. This has been under discussion for many months, it is high time we had a clear opinion, advice, and a plan as appropriate, from the EA.
20 June 2010
The City and the Environment Agency have worked hard on the technical assessment of feasibility, which they have completed. This shows that our plan would work.
We now urgently need detailed costings of the work required to lower the southern end of Lamarsh Rd. We are looking to the County to provide these. At our meeting in South Hinksey on 24 March 2010, attended by senior representatives from all the agencies concerned, the County Council made a commitment to assess what services lie below that part of the road and to prepare detailed costings of the work that would be needed. This might include digging a test hole. So far as we can discover this has not been done in the intervening 11+ weeks. Considering the urgency, this is extremely disappointing.
We hope that this work will now be done with the utmost urgency.
Go to Library to download our Lamarsh Road proposal and how it would bring relief to the many people whose homes have suffered repeated flooding.