There has been a big hole in the planning application system for many years, which is causing increased flooding downstream of new developments. The very simple story is that whilst surface water run-off is meant to be policed by the Environment Agency, and foul-water flows have to be accepted by the local sewage companies... the increase in 'cleaned' water flows that exit sewage works are effectively unallocated.
With an average family capable of creating up to 1,000 litres/day of foul water, it doesn't take many new properties to create huge increases in water flow downstream. Over the years, these increased flows have begun to create more and more issues.
The problem is further compounded when these flows enter relatively short ditch runs before they meet a tidal sluice, which by it's nature is 'tide-locked' for many hours a day.
After many years of pressure, Essex Coast Organisation finally today led a meeting with:-
The Environment Agency
Regional Flood & Coastal Committee
Essex County Council Lead Local Flood Authority
Maldon District Council Planners
We discussed the massive issue of continued development creating such huge issues downstream, and a series of measures that can be put in place to try and alleviate the situation continuing.
Some serious progress was made, not least in the fact that all parties are now fully aware of an issue that was hitherto 'out of sight, out of mind'.
ECO will keep on top of this serious problem that blights so many landowners with tidal sluices, especially those downstream of sewage works, and will keep everyone updated.
ECO is aware that the standardised figures for foul-water flows from housing are lower than 1m3/day, but with the 'standard' figure for a 3 bed house with 3.5 occupants being 630l/day, we have used the 'up to' 1,000l/day figure as indicative of a family of 4-5.