Environment Agency officers have cleared over 20 tonnes of debris from two culverts in Huddersfield as part of a project to reduce the risk of flooding.
Earlier this year, officers started a major overhaul of damaged culverts in the area as part of a major refurbishment programme, looking at all 800 culverts across Yorkshire.
Work on the culverts at Grimescar Dyke, Norman Park, Birkby, and Longwood Brook, Milnsbridge, finished last month reducing the risk of flooding to 105 properties.
Culverts are structures which carry water underground. They were often built to allow development to take place around them such as roads, homes and businesses. Many people live and work near culverts and may not even know they are there.
Project Manager Glenn Fieldhouse said: “It is important for culverts to be checked regularly, because if they get blocked, they can be a significant cause of localised flooding to home owners and businesses.
“We’ve collected 20 tonnes of debris and vegetation during our work in Huddersfield. Small watercourses like Grimescar Dyke and Longwood Brook can easily become blocked with rubbish, especially at culverts or bridges.
“This not only increases the risk of flooding but also impacts on fish and wildlife. If you notice any blockages in your local river please report them to us.”
Work to refurbish the culverts started in January, and has cost in the region of £300,000.
At Grimescar Dyke, the culvert was re-pointed and the roof was repaired in sections. Downstream, the culvert was opened up and the central supporting wall was rebuilt, where it had collapsed. Opportunity was also taken to improve fish passage.
At Longwood Brook, a collapsed wall was rebuilt and the culvert walls have been repaired. The walls were stabilised on each side of the brook because if they had collapsed, the road and the brook could have been blocked.
Anyone can check whether their homes or businesses are at risk of flooding and join the Environment Agency’s free Floodline Warnings Direct service online. Alternatively people can get information by calling Floodline on 0845 9881188.