Officers from the Environment Agency and Durham County Council have worked together to clear a blocked culvert to reduce the risk of flooding in West Auckland.
Teams cleared a blocked culvert this month on Tindale Beck in Auckland St Helens that could have caused flooding.
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.
The work came ahead of heavy thundery downpours which affected the North East this week causing widespread surface water flooding and three flood warnings to be issued for the area.
The culvert had become blocked with debris including discarded clothing and bricks. When a culvert becomes blocked, it reduces the amount of water that can get through it in high flows and can lead to flooding.
The capacity in the culvert has been increased by clearing the culvert using high pressure jets of water and repairing cracked and collapsed sections. The trash screen on the culvert has also been improved to ensure debris cannot get into the culvert.
Paul Constantine, operations delivery technical support for the Environment Agency, said: “It’s really important we worked with Durham County Council to do this work to reduce the risk of flooding to nearby properties, especially with the heavy rain we experienced this week.
“We regularly inspect and check rivers and culverts across the region for blockages. The improvements we have made on Tindale Beck will reduce the likelihood of the culvert blocking again in the future.”
The Environment Agency is also working closely with a nearby property developer to look at longer term flood defences in the future.