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Flood scheme offers protection for Kempsey

Major earthworks, sluices and construction of a new pumping station to protect the village of Kempsey from the risk of flooding from the River Severn are nearing completion, despite being undertaken over the winter months.

The £1.5M scheme will protect 150 homes in the village of Kempsey, which has been flooded 23 times in the last 30 years.

Work on the 180m long earth retention dam called for 8000m3 to be moved between November and January last year but changing the approach to the work has helped minimise the impact of winter weather on the work. “The project was originally set up as a mass import scheme but we managed to excavate the clay needed from a borrow pit on site, saving a considerable number of lorry movements,” said Galliford Try project manager Paul Corner. “The borrow pit has been used to build a fish refuge on the floodable side of the project.”

The new 16m diameter, 6m deep pumping station that will ensure the Hatfield Brook doesn’t back up when the sluice is in place was built from precast concrete segmental rings and is currently being equipped with pumps supplied by UK-based Bedford, which feature fish-friendly impellors. According to Corner, the precast rings were cheaper than casting the pumping station chamber in-situ.

Construction work on the scheme should be completed this month and the whole project will be handed over to the Environment Agency in June.

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