Drainage sys­tem changes to re­duce risk of flood­ing

Cynon Valley - - NEWS - AN­THONY LEWIS an­thony.lewis@waleson­line.co.uk

THERE are plans to re­duce the risk of flood­ing caused by sur­face wa­ter in Rhondda Cynon Taff through changes to the drainage sys­tem for new de­vel­op­ments.

From Jan­uary 7 next year, the way that sur­face drainage wa­ter is han­dled on new de­vel­op­ments will change, with plans to trans­fer wa­ter into the ground rather than let it run off into rivers, and to in­tro­duce a fee for de­vel­op­ments over a cer­tain size to cover fu­ture main­te­nance costs.

It comes af­ter the re­cent se­vere floods in the Val­leys caused by Storm Cal­lum, which were the worst in more than 30 years and cost the coun­cil £100,000.

A re­port which came be­fore cabi­net said there will be a sig­nif­i­cant change to the man­age­ment of sur­face wa­ter drainage and flood risk through new de­vel­op­ments within RCT.

Roger Wa­ters, ser­vice direc­tor for high­ways and street care ser­vices, told cabi­net that the cur­rent sys­tem tends to pass prob­lems fur­ther down through com­mu­ni­ties.

But the new sur­face drainage sys­tem will take wa­ter into the ground through square holes, re­duc­ing the amount of wa­ter that runs off and po­ten­tially floods com­mu­ni­ties fur­ther down stream.

Un­der the Flood and Wa­ter Man­age­ment Act 2010, a Sus­tain­able Drainage Sys­tem Ap­proval Body will be set up within the coun­cil’s flood risk man­age­ment team at Sardis House in Pon­typridd.

This team will have a duty to con­sider de­vel­op­ment ap­pli­ca­tions which af­fect sur­face wa­ter drainage in­clud­ing those of more than one dwelling or that are more than 100 sq m in size and the de­vel­oper will then have to abide by cer­tain con­di­tions.

They will also have to pay fees to cover the fu­ture main­te­nance of the sys­tems put in place. Mr Wa­ters said this should be cost-neu­tral for the coun­cil, with a min­i­mum fee of £350 and a max­i­mum of £7,500.

Coun­cil leader An­drew Mor­gan said the au­thor­ity is one of the best-pre­pared in Wales to im­ple­ment the pro­pos­als.

“We have had sus­tain­able so­lu­tions in place for many years. We have in­creased the flood man­age­ment team the last two years.

“It is about mak­ing sure we don’t put de­vel­op­ment off but that there are com­muted sums so we can’t be left with a mas­sive bill in 10 or 15 years.”

Deputy leader Mau­reen Web­ber said: “I don’t think peo­ple ap­pre­ci­ate the work that goes into these schemes.

“We are a very for­ward­think­ing au­thor­ity. This will save peo­ple’s homes.” risk over

From next year, the way that sur­face drainage wa­ter is han­dled on new de­vel­op­ments will change

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