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British Water drainage experts warn more floods misery is to come

British Water sustainable drainage experts have warned that future flooding is inevitable because councils and government are still dragging their feet over making essential changes to our drainage systems.

As the water and drainage industry gears up to a major “Future of Flood Risk Management” conference in London on 4 November, the chairman of the British Water's Sustainable Drainage Focus Group has expressed concern that, despite the far reaching recommendations of the Pitt Report, Britain is still not tackling the problem at source.

The concern is that inefficient or inadequate surface water drainage systems are continuing to jeopardise flood management schemes.

Alex Stephenson, chairman of the Focus Group said: “We are still trying to put the plug in after the bath water has gone. Sustainable drainage has become a buzz word but the reality is we are making token efforts and allowing inefficient schemes to be installed, which means that when the floods come, our drainage systems just won't cope.”

The Pitt Report, which was published in June, recommended that a dedicated Cabinet Committee should be set up to deal with flooding; monthly summaries should be published on progress made; proper resources should be made available for flood resilience; there should be national planning for flooding; emergency funding should be available and an action plan should be prepared.

David Schofield, the deputy chairman of the British Water Focus Group will be attending the conference, where Sir Michael Pitt will be the keynote speaker added: “The report has been published, the ground rules have been laid out but they're still not being implemented. The progress towards the implementation of the Pitt Report recommendations is far too slow and it's only when people face another winter of misery as water levels rise that the issue will, once again, hit the headlines.”

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