Friday, December 14, 2012

Kempsey flood defence failure due to waterlogged sensor

BBC Website 14 December 2012

A faulty sensor caused the failure of £1.5m flood defences, leading to 15 homes flooding in a Worcestershire village, a report has found. 

Two pumps designed to start automatically during flooding failed to activate in Kempsey in the early hours of 25 November.

The sensor had become waterlogged during heavy rainfall, the Environment Agency-commissioned report found.

Officially unveiled in July, the flood defence pumps are part of a project that included earth embankments and a series of sluice gates.
They were tested successfully during floods in the summer.

The agency said now it knew what the problem was, it would be working to fix it. 'Dry' future

The pumps, which are working, will be operated manually by EA staff throughout the winter when flooding is possible.

"We will ensure the faults are rectified as soon as possible so the pumping station operates automatically as it is designed to," the EA said.

Anthony Perry, West Midlands flood risk manager for the agency, said: "We are very sorry that the pumping station did not operate as intended in Kempsey, especially as it had operated successfully twice this year.
"Our thoughts go out to the residents affected.

"We will continue to be in Kempsey to switch on the pumps at times of flood until the faults are fixed, and will work with the local community to regain their trust in this scheme."