Environment Agency officers have cleared over 12 tonnes of debris from a culvert in Wakefield 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 a culvert at Langthwaite Beck, South Elmsall, finished last month, reducing the risk of flooding to 38 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 12 tonnes of debris and vegetation during our work in Wakefield. Small watercourses like Langthwaite Beck 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 culvert started in January, and has cost in the region of £90,000. The work involved clearing vegetation from the channel, repairs to the culvert walls and roof and removing tree roots that had grown through the culvert wall.
Anyone can check whether their homes or businesses are at risk of flooding and join the Environment Agency’s free Floodine Warnings Direct service online. Alternatively people can get information by calling Floodline on 0845 9881188.