05 Sep 2016 Utility Firms Reinforcing Critical Infrastructure In Light of Flood
Those alarming aerial images of towns and villages across the UK being engulfed by murky water might be fading from our memories, but for many the rebuilding operation after the initial clean-up is still ongoing.
And since our flood defences and town planning have been caught out over the past 6 or 7 years by unprecedented weather events, utility firms are putting their minds to finding more robust solutions and prevention strategies in the face of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns.
Utility companies bear the brunt of flooding when water comes up through over-burdened sewer systems, and recent floods have affected wastewater treatment plants and pumping stations, cutting water services across the UK, including in Cumbria and Lancashire during Christmas 2015 and New Year 2016.
The impact of Storms Eva, Frank and Desmond, which hit the UK in quick succession, saw utility companies gather together for resilience meetings, putting non-urgent work on hold to respond to urgent issues in sewers, and sharing manpower and equipment once floods hit.
Now the eye of the storm has passed over, minds are focussed ever more sharply on prevention.
Typically, and for the past 50 years, our products have been used to safeguard against criminal damage, tampering and latterly terrorist attack, but flood defence has now become one of the most pressing issues for our clients.
We have been approached by Natural Resources Wales and by a number of the water companies we supply, about protecting their own critical equipment in the event of flood disaster.
All of the utility companies across the UK house some of their critical infrastructure in kiosks and housings, typically fabricated from GRP, brick or steel.
We have developed systems to raise the housings above the flood risk zone, effectively mounting them on load bearing steel legs. We also provide access stairways and landings.
Combating flooding is not the responsibility of any one organisation - the Highways Agency, The Environment Agency , Utility companies, the police and insurance companies all play their part - and we are happy to do so too.