A waterworks serving up to almost 50,000 homes in Surrey and London will be protected under an emergency flood relief project started today (Friday).
The Environment Agency and Tandridge, Croydon and Surrey councils have teamed up to create an emergency plan to stop record levels of water from the Caterham Bourne from flooding Kenley waterworks.
If the waterworks were to shut, an estimated 450 nearby homes would flood, and up to 47,000 homes could be without drinking water until a back-up waterworks in Godstone is connected, including up to 7,000 in Selsdon, Sanderstead and parts of Tandridge.
The relief scheme involves drafting in the Army to create a series of temporary reservoirs to slow the floodwater and stop it spreading. The first step taken today was closing Woldingham Road between the A22 and Bug Hill to all traffic except residents.
Neighbouring residents and landowners have already been told that the reservoir scheme, which will not flood any homes or businesses, could last up to six months while a funding bid is prepared for a long-term Government-approved solution.
For several weeks firefighters from across London and Surrey have already been pumping water away from the flooded A22 between Wapses Lodge roundabout and Kenley, and these temporary reservoirs are expected to allow this stretch to reopen.
Yvonne Rees, Surrey County Council’s Strategic Director for Customers and Communities, said: “Doing nothing is not an option; we’re working with other agencies to protect nearby homes and businesses by safely diverting floodwater into temporary reservoirs and cutting the risk of more flooding.”
Louise Round, Chief Executive of Tandridge District Council, said: “We’re very grateful to landowners for their co-operation, which will help prevent nearly 50,000 homes losing their water supply and stop further flooding. This action gives us time to provide a permanent solution to this problem.”
The project involves:
· Closing Woldingham Road between the A22 and Bug Hill, with access only for residents
· Creating a diversion route north via Hillbury Road
· Building a series of temporary reservoirs near the railway viaduct, Wapses Lodge roundabout and Whyteleafe recreation ground to store water channelled
· Updating affected landowners along Woldingham Road near the junction with Stuart Road and towards Wapses Lodge roundabout