Seven years after heavy rainfall, in July 2007, caused widespread basement flooding in Kensington and Chelsea, and, with many homes still at risk, Thames Water are putting plans in place to prevent any repetition.
The parts of the borough that were affected were located in the the ‘catchment area’ of Counters Creek, one of the lost rivers of London. Thames Water say that a loss of green space, combined with the number of basement properties, has resulted in higher flooding risks. They add that over 1,700 of their customers have reported flooding, but believe many more may have been affected.
To help combat the issue, they are installing specialist prevention systems called FLIP (Flooding Local Improvement Process) devices to protect certain at-risk homes.
Already, almost 700 properties in the Counters Creek area have been fitted with FLIP devices which are designed to transfer sewage and rainwater from private drains to the main sewer in the road, even during heavy rain. It utilises a non-return valve, to prevent backflow from the sewer entering the property. The device is installed, owned and maintained by Thames Water, and electricity costs are reimbursed with a water bill rebate.
Customers who have suffered basement flooding may be eligible for FLIP devices on request.
Local residents have voiced concerns that the proliferation of mega-basements in the area have limited the normal dispersal area of underground rivers like Counters Creek and are responsible for pushing up the water table, resulting in flooding and poor draining.
Thames Water are also working on local sewer improvements and a new storm relief sewer in a bid to protect the 1,700 high-risk homes. Before works ensue, a number of drop in consulting days are being organised by Thames Water around the borough. To find out more about how developments may affect your home visit their website for the full schedule of events:
If you have been affected by sewer flooding, you can contact Thames Water on 0800 980 8800.