Residents Urged to Protect Homes from Floods

As only one in ten have take up free anti-flooding devices

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Thames Water

Hammersmith Town Hall

Thames Water Plans Short Term Solution to Basement Flooding

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Residents are being urged to protect their homes from basement sewer flooding as it emerged that just one in ten have so far taken up an offer of a free anti-flooding device.

Around 70 residents attended a meeting to discuss basement sewer flooding earlier this week where Thames Water representatives said they have offered 634 property owners in Hammersmith & Fulham (H&F) and Kensington & Chelsea a mini-pumping station worth around £35,000 each.

However, despite Thames Water’s offer to install the mini-pumps, known as flooding local improvement projects (FLIPs), for free, only 60 residents across the two boroughs have signed up.

The FLIPs, which take three weeks to install and test prevent raw sewage backing up into low-lying properties during heavy rainfall, as well as pumping out waste from inside the property into the public sewers.

The meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall heard that FLIPs are only the short-term solution to basement sewer flooding for the worst affected properties in the borough.

In the longer-term Thames Water needs to increase the capacity of the Counters Creek sewer to protect more homes – which would require funding approval from water-regulator Ofwat.

It is believed that as many as 7,500 properties may be at risk of sewer flooding in H&F, according to Thames Water’s computer modelling.

Cllr Nick Botterill, H&F Council Deputy Leader, says: " The council is working closely with Thames Water on this as we know how awful basement sewer flooding is. Many people are coming forward and protecting themselves but sadly larger numbers appear to be simply ignoring the problem.

" The more people who don’t report basement flooding, the more difficult it will be for the rest of us as Thames Water’s case for a long-term solution with Ofwat will be weakened. Again, I urge anyone who has suffered from basement sewer flooding in the borough to contact Thames Water as a matter of urgency."

Bob Collington, Director of Operational Management for Thames Water says: "We're desperate to end the misery of sewer flooding, which is a truly horrible experience.

"We have yet to get the approval of our economic regulator Ofwat for building a larger Counter's Creek sewer system, but the £25million of funding we've been allowed by Ofwat for the next five years will enable us to provide a short-term fix for the worst-affected properties while we design the long-term solution."

To report basement sewer flooding call 0845 920 0800 or visit Thames Water's website.

June 9, 2011