‘Protecting our communities, securing our economy, enhancing our Thames’ - Environment Agency.
The Lower Thames scheme has been put into place by the Environment Agency to help reduce the risk of flooding to over 20,000 homes near Heathrow. Working in partnership with local authorities, the EA has developed a flood risk strategy to protect vital infrastructure and transport networks close to the River Thames should flooding occur. Once completed, the scheme will bring significant economic, social and environmental benefits to the capital and overall reduce the risk of flooding in the area.
The winter of 2013/2014 saw devastating floods across much of the UK with Lower Thames amongst one of the worst affected. Constant heavy rain resulted in the Thames bursting its banks with flood waters flowing into pathways, roads and properties. Over 100 people were rescued from their homes and hundreds of homes were affected after rain continued to fall across the UK with the EA announcing a record number of flood warnings.
According to the EA, towns across Lower Thames between Datchet and Teddington are now considered to be at high risk of flooding. With this in mind, the scheme to implement flood resilience measures across the river has been offered to residents. A series of residents meetings were organised for those interested in property level protection and initial surveys conducted to identify all points of water ingress. Due to the scale of properties identified as eligible to receive property level property, the scheme was split into 8 phases; involving properties in Datchet, Wraysbury, Staines, Chertsey and Shepperton.
UK Flood Barriers were invited to tender to provide flood mitigation measures for half of the properties involved in the scheme; this involved 4 phases in total. In 2013, UKFB was awarded the contract to survey and install flood resilience to properties in phases 2, 4, 6 and 8 including Staines, Chertsey and Sheppeton.
UKFB is currently delivering phase 2 of the project, this has involved a secondary survey (following initial surveys by JBA Consulting) to look at the property type and characteristics of each property and specifying the most appropriate flood mitigation measures. Thirty properties are incorporated into phase 2 where a selection of Flood Angel® solutions have been specified, these include; Flood Defender™ Doors, Flood Defender™ Barriers, Anti-Flood Airbricks, and 160mm/110mm Non-Return Valves.