Poor drains and too much concrete
September 3, 2013 3 Comments
The rain in Spain may fall mainly on the plain – in Southend it dances off the concrete and unhindered by inadequate and often blocked drains gives rise to flooding.
Whilst one cannot expect to be ready for every exceptional circumstance, the evident failure of the drains last week does raise a couple of questions.
The first would be on the quality and suitableness of the drains. Seaforth Road resembled a river for a few hours and the drains there were hopeless in dealing with the deluge. Other areas gave birth to large ponds, with much discomfort at times for life and livelihood. Since the water companies (privatised to make them more efficient) like to take so much of our money one can be forgiven for wondering what we are getting in return. Okay, we turn on the taps and drinking water is delivered, but this was the case prior to privatisation; likewise the disposal of sewerage. Southend-on-Sea’s Victorian drains would appear in need of renewal, although regular maintenance would be nice too.
I would also question why the borough is being buried under concrete. Much of the flooding seen last week was as a result of run-off. Whilst the heavy rain may have been too much for open ground to absorb entirely, certainly green fields and gardens would not have seen the same amount of run-off.
I would hope that the relevant authorities would question a development framework that allows so much to be built with little regard to the environment, either natural or architectural. I would also hope that drains would be cleared of detritus so that at least some rainfall can be dealt with properly. Whilst receiving a month’s rainfall in a few hours is exceptional, the predictions are for more extreme weather. Unless changes are made short-lived rivers and ponds will be seen again.