There was an accompanying editorial in the Oxford Times of 26 January 2019.
At the moment the details of the pipeline proposal are not published. Here are some of the things we’d be interested to know about:
- The OFAS scheme is designed to increase flood flow though Oxford by 38,000 litres per second. What is the volume of water the HOEG pump(s) will pump per second?
- What size of pump is assumed for this job? How many?
- Where would the pumps be located?
- Will the pumps be secure against flooding themselves, and how would they be accessed for maintenance in a flood?
- What provision is there for intrinsic pump failure?
- If the pumps are electrically powered, how is the risk of failure of the electricity supply during a flood addressed. Would there be generators raised above any flood level with nearby fuel stores accessible during a flood?
- What is the route, how would pipes be put underground, how would the many services in the ground be navigated?
- Construction and disposal of spoil.
- How is downstream risk to Kennington in particular, and possibly also Abingdon, addressed?
- How were the costings were arrived at – what do they include?
[The suggestion of a second (albeit smaller) pipeline to Farmoor would be a very large project in itself and is so speculative and far removed from the present issue that we are not asking further about that.]
We wrote to the group concerned recently, on 25 January, asking if we may see their engineer’s plans and any other details; we look forward to their reply so we can better understand their proposal.
L to R: Nick Hills, resident and OFA; Lord Mayor, Councillor Mohammed Altaf-Khan; Nicola Blackwood, MP; Duncan MacDonald, Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks; the pump.
The new pump
The link provides an excellent report, including a video, about the arrival of a new pump, dedicated to flood protection for Earl Street. In case that stops being available online here is an extract from the report, with acknowledgement and thanks to ITV:
“Today residents in Earl Street were shown a new, dedicated, mobile pump that will be available to them in the event of future floods.
Nick Hills, an Earl Street resident and member of the Oxford Flood Alliance Steering Group, applied for a grant to pay for the pump after becoming aware of Scottish and Southern Energy Network’s Community Resilience Fund. The energy company awards grants of up to £20,000 to community projects. His bid was successful and SSE awarded the full cost of the pump, which had been reduced to £19,830 by Stuart Pumps Ltd, which provides the City Council with its pumps.
A pump and sump scheme that will provide enhanced protection against groundwater to properties in Earl Street has been approved by the City Council. The scheme was devised by residents Nick Hills (of OFA) and Andy Webber, with input from Paul Kirkley from the council. Paul has been hugely supportive on the ground and with grant applications. Andy stepped down from OFA steering group a while ago, but remains very active in local flood prevention and protection. The scheme will be funded by aggregating individual property Repair and Resilience Grants from Defra, via the City Council, as a community scheme. A contractor has been approved, and work is expected to commence imminently.