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Floods raise fears over storm water drain design

SEVERE FLOODING this week prompted Scotland and water company Severn Trent to review storm water drain design codes as the worst floods for more than half a century devastated large areas of Britain.

Two reports on flood defences are due to go the to Scottish Office next month. They are expected to include reviews of storm water drain design.

And Severn Trent is starting a major £1.6bn upgrade of storm sewers in the West Midlands.

Data gathered by the University of East Anglia climate research unit is being used to design appropriate capacity.

The news comes as serious flooding engulfed large parts of Britain for the second time in a month.

On Tuesday morning the Environment Agency had issued severe flood warnings on 40 waterways and rivers had burst their banks at Yalding in Kent, Uckfield in east Sussex and York.

There was also flooding along the river Severn.

More floods were expected as a slow moving depression was expected to produce further heavy rain across the country.

This week Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott said he would add £5M to flood defence spending over the next five years, on top of the current £400M annual spend.

Babtie is due to deliver a report to the Scottish Executive, evaluating the ability of existing structures, design codes and planning guidance to deal with increased flood risk posed by climate change.

Dundee University is also assembling data on climate change projections for the Scottish regions.

The information will allow the Executive to identify flood risks as accurately as possible so it can fine-tune its engineering response, said Stan Irvine, senior engineer in the Executive's air, climate and engineering division.

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