Matthew Porter of the Echo, today wrote following the “multi-agency” meeting updating Castle Point Council of the work progressed so far in response to the Canvey Island surface water flooding of July 2014;
Hundreds of faults and breaks were uncovered after the island’s 36km sewage network was inspected in light of major flooding in July 2014.
Bosses from Anglian Water claim the extent of the problems on the island is “unprecedented” and unlike anywhere else in the country.
Castle Point Council, Essex County Council, Essex Fire Service, Anglian Water and the Environment Agency have been working together to tackle the issue over the past 15 months.
Work has included developing a digital model to simulate heavy rainfall on Canvey, and a thorough examination of the drainage system.
Jonathan Glerum, Anglian Water flood risk manager, said: “We have seen things like gas mains ploughed right through one of our concrete sewers and there are hundreds of examples of this.
“A lot of the time, they just drill so they don’t know if they have drilled through a sewer.
“It is out of our control whether people do this, but we can try to influence things.”
Mr Glerum claims the problems on Canvey were worse than he has seen anywhere else in the country.
He added: “The whole system wasn’t running and we’d be doing five or six repairs in one street.
“We don’t really get these problems elsewhere – it seems to be a Canvey specific issue.
“It’s pretty rare in other areas, but in one street on Canvey we could get five or six issues in a 100 metre stretch.
“We can now understand why people suffered and we don’t see these problems anymore.”
Ray Howard, Tory councillor responsible for floods and water management, claims regulations for maintenance work have since changed to help clamp down on the problem.
He has called on those contractors who damaged drains in the first place to be held to account.
Mr Howard said: “I want to see these companies named, shamed and prosecuted, because they have caused such discomfort to people.”
Large parts of Canvey suffered major flooding when enough rain to fill Wembley Stadium fell in just 12 minutes on Sunday, July 20, last year.
It was later revealed 11 of Canvey’s 13 pumping stations were out of use and many of the island’s drains were blocked.