The first phase of a major flood scheme in Newcastle is complete.
Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency began the £7 million joint flood reduction scheme in October last year.
The Brunton Park scheme will reduce the risk of flooding to more than one hundred properties in Mitford Gardens, Princes Close, Fairway Close, Princes Road, Waterbury Road and Clayworth Road.
Work will involve installing 380 metres of new river channel to divert the Ouseburn from the area that suffers from flooding; using the current section of Ouseburn river channel and a new storage basin to drain and store more than seven million litres of surface water; constructing 250 metres of flood defence walls and installing two kilometres of new sewer pipe and a new storage tank, which will hold up to 450,000 litres of water.
Paul Davison, Northumbrian Water’s project manager, said: "We appreciate how devastating flooding can be for our customers and reducing the risk of flooding to homes and businesses is our top priority. Detailed investigations carried out by ourselves and the Environment Agency confirmed that the three sources of flooding in Brunton Park are our surface and foul sewer networks and from the Ouseburn.
"Our partnership approach, which also involves working closely with Newcastle City Council, is vital to ensure a holistic, sustainable and efficient approach to tackle flooding in this area. It is the first time we have worked on a scheme which has involved diverting a river channel and using the current channel for storage. This is an innovative and creative solution which will help us to manage surface water in the natural environment.
"We would like to thank residents in the area for their patience while we have carried out the first phase of work. The work is behind schedule due to difficult ground conditions and the need to redesign some elements of the scheme and use different working methods. We will do our best to complete the next phase of work as quickly as we can."
The Environment Agency’s Flood Risk Manager for the North East, Phil Welton, said: "Diverting the river channel and creating a new flood wall will provide vital protection to homes in Brunton Park, and the scheme will also benefit wildlife with an increased wetland habitat.
"Working together to bring integrated and sustainable solutions such as this to life gives better outcomes for local residents and ensures projects such as this are delivered efficiently, giving better value for money."
The next phase of work, which will begin in March next year and take up to four months to complete, will involve completing construction of the new river channel, flood defence embankment and walls; diversion and construction of surface water outfalls which will discharge surface water from the sewer network into the River Ouseburn; creation of the storage basin alongside the existing river channel and reinstatement and landscaping work.
The play park on Lincoln Green which has had to be removed while this work is carried out. A new play park will be designed, in partnership with Newcastle City Council and local community groups and schools, and will be opened in May 2016.
For further information contact Cara Charlton, Northumbrian Water, on 0191 301 6720.