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Investment debate

Barbara Young says that “we need better flood defence” and need “to force the UK’s owners and operators of critical public infrastructure to invest in proper flood defences”. I consider the second comment to be very defensive and a nonsense.
She cited, sewage treatment works. These are a particularly interesting example as their failure has a major impact upon the environment.

It is a fact that many such works exist on flood plains – along with the built-up areas they serve. If the flood plain is inundated with rainwater this then gets into the foul sewers and much will end up in the sewage treatment works thereby flooding it. You can put a flood defence bund around the works but it is clearly not the answer, as it is the built-up area which needs to be protected to avoid the sewerage system acting as a land drainage system for which it was not designed.

It is essential that land drainage flood defences are provided – a more sensible approach for all infrastructure.

Isn’t that in the Environment Agency’s court?

Stuart Derwent (M), 19 Withdean Crescent, Brighton BN1 6WG

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