Good stormwater management will be at a premium again as soaking Britain may be in for a new bout of flooding over winter and spring 2012/13, the Environment Agency has warned.
While stormwater attenuation tanks such as those of Tubosider will minimise the risk to major areas of civic development, commerce and transportation, the burden on the wider drainage network is the area of concern.
Rivers are full after the wettest April to June on record, followed by more rain in July, September and October.
The earth is saturated and in many areas there is no more space left in aquifers to store water that seeps through from the surface. The Agency warns that people should be ready for floods even with relatively small amounts of rain.
It warns of increased risk of river flooding in November and December, especially in the south-west and northern and western parts of England and Wales.
Devon, Dorset and Hampshire are also vulnerable to flooding from water coming up through the soaking ground because groundwater in aquifers moves much more slowly than surface water, and will take more time to flow away underground.
Peter Fox of the Environment Agency says that “even modest amounts of rain could lead to flooding”. The areas which the Agency is most concerned about are south west England and Wales. Meanwhile Sarah Jackson, the Met Office’s chief adviser to the government, says “We are heading into the winter period which is traditionally the wetter period of the year in the UK.
“Because the ground is so wet, if we do have any prolonged heavy rainfall in any part of the country, there is going to be heightened risk of flooding.”