Flood prevention work starts

Drain repairs begin to prevent flooding.

Drain repairs begin to prevent flooding. - Credit: Archant

WORK to repair the drainage system in Backwell to try to prevent future flooding in the village has begun.

Officers from North Somerset Council have been carrying out investigative work across the district to try to find the cause of the flooding which left scores of damaged homes and businesses in its wake.

Engineers carried out site inspections at a number of manholes last month and found problems with the drainage system at the pedestrian entrance to Backwell School.

Rain water poured onto the school site during the heavy rain before Christmas, causing minor damage to some of the buildings.

Headteacher Julian Baldwin said: “We had so much rain the main road had to be closed because the water wasn’t draining away. We had a lot of water on site, so we had to channel it through the school, using sandbags, and open up our own manholes to drain it away.

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“Our staff room and one of our drama classrooms were damaged by water coming in, but it was due to the fact our site team worked really hard to direct the water that the rest of the site was OK.

“We are really pleased they’re doing this work, it’s very necessary. I’m really impressed they are doing it so quickly after finding a problem.”

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North Somerset Council has begun remedial work on the manhole outside the school.

Once this has been completed, the investigative work will continue to make sure the system is working properly.

A council spokesman said: “The section opposite the pedestrian entrance to the school was not possible to ‘film’ as it was underwater as a result of the poor outfall at the manhole opposite.

“The tanker was trying to extract the water from the manholes and pipes to allow the camera a clear view but it was fighting a losing battle, with a constant flow of water from the hill to the east.

“The problems with the manhole at the entrance to the school appear to be preventing the system flowing as it should.

“Before we undertake any more investigation of the system I think we need to undertake the remedial works to the manhole and assess the system again.”

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