SEWERS were overflowing with flood water as a Worcester road became a foul river but water chiefs insisted pumps were working.
A downpour this morning fell on already sodden ground, causing flooding in Hylton Road, Worcester, which remained closed as sewers oveflowed.
However, the £650,000 flood alleviation scheme, including a 560 metre bund which opened in June 2009, held and protected homes while the water receded during the rest of the day.
Severn Trent Water, which manages the pumps to clear flood water from the road, insisted they were 'pulling out all the stops' to help manage flooding in Worcester. Chiefs said there had been weeks of planning as they worked with the Environment Agency (EA) and the Highways authority at Worcestershire County Council to reduce the impact on the road.
Ed O’Brien, waste manager for Severn Trent, said: “To help minimise the effects of flooding we’re continuing to use four pumps to clear water from Hylton Road, each one pumping 80 litres of water per second.
“Unfortunately, with so much rain, and river levels getting higher by the minute, we’re unable to completely stop Hylton Road from flooding. There just isn’t the space for any more pumps to be installed, and we’re fighting against the rising river. But we’re happy that as a result of our actions flooding in the road has been reduced.
“Our sewers just aren’t designed to cope with such huge amounts of rainfall, and they’re definitely not designed to cope with river water flooding in, so they get overwhelmed.
“We’ve now set up an emergency incident team to cope with flooding events across Worcestershire, and our teams will continue to work 24 hours a day, to help to keep traffic flowing and protect the local community as much as we can. In the longer term, flooding is a complex problem to solve, but we’re working closely with the Highways Authorities and the Environment Agency to do all we can to help.”
Andy Churchill, whose Hylton Road home was flooded in 2000 and 2007 said: "It was a bit worrying this morning when the water was racing up Hylton Road towards Monarch Cars. But by dinner time it had begun to recede. I don't know whether they had a problem with the pumps but they got it sorted. The bund is doing its job. A lot of the water is coming out of the sewers and they need to sort that really. The worrying point is when you get to a point when you get inundated with a mix of flood water and sewage." But he said said since the flood defences were installed residents on Hylton Road had 'more peace of mind' and that the EA seemed 'on the ball'.
For any general issues with water or sewerage services, customers can contact Severn Trent Water’s 24hr customer operations service centre on 0800 783 4444.