Yorkshire Water to discuss drainage issues

November 2, 2021

Yorkshire Water has agreed to meet with Howden Town Councillors to address the town’s drainage issues following the flooding of homes earlier in the year.

Chair of the town council, Hugh Roberts, said the water supply and utility company has “acknowledged there are problems in existing Howden” and has called on them to address the issues. In response, a multi-agency meeting between the town council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and Yorkshire Water has been arranged for December to “raise and address” concerns. In February 2021, homes and fields across Howden became waterlogged with surface water and foul waste.

The town council believe the problems occurred because the nearby pumping stations - Bellcross Lane, Treeton Road and Broad Lane - can’t deal with the volume of foul and surface water discharged to them from the entirety of Howden. At the time, Yorkshire Water attributed the floods to “heavy rainfall and snowmelt”, but have since carried out investigations into the stations and acknowledged the issues. With the possibility of new houses being built in the area, councillors fear if the problems are not addressed soon they will become much worse.

Previously speaking to the Goole Times, Hugh Roberts said: “Basically, there are two sources of water that enter the pumping stations. One source is from across the older parts of Howden where there is a combined sewer pipe system that takes all of the household wastewater (toilet, bath/shower, washing machine, etc), and surface water from gardens and road gully drains. “From newer parts of Howden, it’s just household waste. In these areas, the surface water enters the open drain network and is disposed of separately. Apart from pumping stations not being big enough to cope with the volume of water, especially at wet times, there is no capacity for storage in the system. Once Broad Lane is at capacity, it turns off Bellcross and Treeton pumps and the foul water starts to back up the pipes, which are already full, eventually filling inspection chambers in gardens and toilets in houses at the head of the system. All of this before the new houses are built to the north of Howden!”

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water said: “We have already carried out updates and alterations to some of our pumping stations in Howden to reduce the flooding issues some customers have experienced. “We are working in partnership with Environment Agency, Internal Drainage Board, East Riding Council and Stantec to carry out an investigation into the wider catchment to understand infiltration of groundwater into the sewage network and the capacity of local watercourses. Reducing groundwater infiltration into the sewer network will help to increase capacity.” The flooding issues will be discussed at the upcoming multi-agency meeting in December with the hopes of implementing long-term solutions.

A Howden garden flooded with surface water and soul waste in February this year. (04-11-09 SU)

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