Our 9th Annual Public Meeting is on Wednesday 22 February 2017.
There is lots to hear and talk about and everybody is welcome.
We hold an Annual Public Meeting, which has been in November up to now. This makes it close to the annual Oxford Area Flood Partnership meeting and the two have increasingly overlapped in content. We decided then that our “2016” meeting would be better held later. It will be on Wednesday 22 February 2017 at 7pm for 7.30. The venue as before, the Demos’ Club on Osney Island, Oxford. We will have speakers from the Environment Agency (on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme), Thames Water (on their sewer survey) and Network Rail (on their track raising, waterway clearance and culvert installation). Everybody is very welcome.
At The Democrats, Osney Island, 7.30 pm. Entrance at the north end of East Street.
Doors open from 7.00 pm.
Network Rail on their plans to clear blocked culverts under the railway north of Redbridge.
Environment Agency on the multi-million pound Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme (FAS) (Western Conveyance)
Thames Water on their major review of Oxford’s sewers.
Hear our ideas on how Oxford FAS might be maintained not only for flood alleviation but also for wildlife.
Local planning applications, Weirs Mill Stream – and more.
We held a meeting on 20 August 2015 to discuss this, especially in relation to possible temporary bunding of the village at time of river flooding.
Representatives from Thames Water (TW), the Environment Agency (EA) and of OFA from South Hinksey met. We had an interesting and fruitful discussion. These actions were agreed:
Thames Water (TW) to initiate a clean of the box culvert north of the village (by today, 27 Aug, this has already been ordered) and update us further on the work that has been, and still is being, done to considerably improve the pumping station at Littlemore.
TW will consider OFA’s suggestion of a sewer bypass for the village, as part of the ongoing Oxford Catchment Study.
Adrian Porter for OFA will fit a chain and handle to the existing non-return flap valve on the Manor Road surface water outlet to enable manual override if necessary.
The suggestion of a memorandum of understanding between the EA and TW, as to how sewer flooding would be dealt with at times of fluvial flooding, especially if a temporary bund were deployed, will be taken forward by the EA.
Many thanks to Thames Water and the Environment Agency for meeting with us and their very positive approach to the problems.
Simon Collings represented OFA at the second meeting of Oxford City Council Scrutiny Panel on sewer flooding. Thames Water (TW) gave an update on where they are with a) Grandpont and b) the Oxford Catchment Study:
At Grandpont they have identified the most likely causes of sewer flooding and TW will now work with the City Council and residents to improve things. Local resident Brian Durham of OFA and SOFAG has been closely involved in this work.
On the Catchment Study they are engaged in two parallel processes:
So far they haven’t encountered anything which would suggest they need major capital investments, though they do plan to upgrade the pumps at Littlemore.
TW are talking to the Environment Agency (EA) team working on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme, and the two modelling teams are going to share data and work together. By good luck the option development phases of both projects are working to similar timetables. EA will help TW understand how the river flooding affects the sewers, and TW will contribute to that work.
There will be one more meeting of the Scrutiny Panel in November/December but from then on formal reports will be given through the Oxford Area Flood Partnership, to avoid duplication of meetings.
Heard from Thames Water today that their Oxford flooding questionnaire team has been out and about making visits and gathering information from householders – by the end of today all Oxford Phase 1 sites should have had at least one visit: three visits will be made in total to try to catch people that are out. So far, 126 Sewer Flooding Questionnaires have been completed.
Phase 2, to follow, comprises Lower Wolvercote, North Hinksey Lane, South Hinksey and Upper Road.
Great that this is moving ahead – we look forward to hearing the results in due course.
Oxford has had serious problems with sewer flooding for years, mainly at times of river flooding. Now Oxford has been chosen by Thames Water as one of only a handful of places in their region to have this investigated in detail, so they can decide how best to go about making real improvements.
Surveys of the sewers themselves have been under way for some time. Now, within the next two or three weeks, representatives from Thames Water will begin to knock on doors in areas of Oxford and environs that have experienced sewer flooding of house or garden, or toilets that will not flush during floods. The more that Thames Water know about the problems the better they will be able to solve them, so we urge everyone to give as much information as they can. This really is a big chance to see things improve.
We will post more details as they become available.
Thames Water is asking members of OFA Steering Group and OFA Allies to help in their comprehensive survey of sewers in the Oxford area by being area representatives. Nick Hills, Angela MacKeith, Brian Durham, Adrian Porter, Richard Thurston and John Mastroddi will be involved.
We’ve suggested Thames Water contact OFA Allies in Wolvercote, Wytham and Binsey as well.
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.
17 October 2014
On BBC Radio Oxford’s breakfast show to comment on Thames Water’s plans for a major survey of Oxford’s sewers.