Sewer experts bid to clear up flood problem

SEWERAGE experts are working on plans to reduce flooding in a Morpeth street.

Northumbrian Water has completed a feasibility report into flooding in Bennetts Walk, confirming that the sewerage system is unable to cope with the volume of flow during heavy rainfall.

Now it is looking into options to resolve the problem, which could see the construction of a new pumped Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO).

This would allow the discharge of excess storm flows to the River Wansbeck and provide additional protection to properties.

However, the company says the wider flooding problems in Middle Greens and Goosehill are predominantly caused by highway drainage issues, which are the responsibility of Northumberland County Council, and it will be approaching the authority to see whether improvements can be made.

A Northumbrian Water spokeswoman said: “Obviously we appreciate that the people of Morpeth have suffered extreme flooding.

“The issues are very complex and the council, Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water are working together.

“Northumbrian Water has identified that the sewerage network in the Bennetts Walk area needs to be upgraded and we are currently carrying out investigations to identify the most suitable solution. We will keep residents informed of the progress.”

The action has been welcomed as a positive step by the Morpeth Flood Action Group.

Chairman Alan Bell said: “Something needs to be done in this area and we welcome the fact that Northumbrian Water is considering doing something about it.

“The problem is not going to go away and it needs the three bodies to work together.”

Northumbrian Water has also invested £50,000 to install a stand-by generator on stilts at its pumping station in Low Stanners to keep services running during a flood.

A company spokesman said: “In the event of power being lost due to a flood, the generator will maintain the pumping capability of the station.

“It has been elevated to a certain level above the ground, with guidance from the Environment Agency.”

Sewage and surface water from the areas north of the river and the lower lying parts of the town and outskirts south of the river reach Morpeth Sewage Treatment Works via the pumping station.