SURFACE WATER AND FLOODING – UNDERSTAND THE RISKS
AS WE HEAD INTO WINTER, THE RISK OF FLOODING FROM EXTREME WEATHER IS LIKELY TO BE ON THE MINDS OF MANY HOUSEHOLDERS, BUT, WHILE THERE IS GROWING AWARENESS OF THE THREAT FROM RIVERS AND THE SEAS AROUND OUR COASTS, THE BIGGEST DANGER IS FROM SURFACE WATER.
In a recent speech, Sir James Bevan, chief executive of the Environment Agency, described surface water as a “real and growing threat to life, to property, to the economy, to the country”.
Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM) Surface Water Management Conference in October, Sir James said flood risks such as those from coasts, rivers, groundwater and sewers were far outweighed by the prospect of surface water flooding and its effects on people and property.
SIR JAMES SAID:
“More than three million properties in England are at risk of surface water flooding, even more than those at risk from rivers and the sea (2.7 million).
“Surface water flooding is a risk because of its effect. It hits not just individual homes and businesses, but the whole infrastructure – road, rail, utilities etc. – of a town or city, disrupting pretty much all aspects of modern life.”
Surface water occurs after a sudden and dramatic rain fall that fills and overwhelms drains, which then overflow. While major flood events in the last decade or so have helped raise public awareness of river and coastal flooding, surface water flooding tends to affect urban areas, thanks to paved roads and concreted areas that cannot absorb rainwater.
With much of the UK population living in urban areas, that means surface water flooding is a much wider risk to more people. The Environment Agency has created new online maps that allow householders to check if their property is at risk of surface water flooding.
LISA SUMMERTON, SALES DIRECTOR AT SEARCHES UK, SAID:
“This type of resource can help those looking to move home make an informed choice. This extra information will reinforce the essential data provided by the conveyancing Flood Search Reports.
“We are experts in providing relevant data that helps law firms reveal areas of potential risk to their clients. We would encourage solicitors to talk to us about the options we offer to ensure their clients receive comprehensive flood analysis when buying land or property.”
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