Eton Wick Matters

Flood Forum Updates

 

FLOOD FORUM UPDATE - DECEMBER 2015

 

Progress! The third flood and pollution forum meeting was held on 6th October. Prior to the meeting we expressed concern as momentum was slowed and the duration between meetings had extended with progress being held up by personnel changes at Thames Water and the Environment Agency.

 

Continuous change resulted in support procedures/maintenance being delayed and attendees were not grasping the historical, complex issues affecting our village. We now have settled TW representatives and a new EA team taking action. RBWM are driving the forum; we have positive change with good works underway.

 

During August STW experienced flooding, blockages and equipment failures. TW contained issues at the works without polluting or completeley draining streams. TW have made improvements to pumps, mains power, aeration lanes and are being 'encouraged' by the EA to invest and plan maintenance rather than reacting to plant failures.

 

RBWM have completed the emergency communication protocol which should be in place for the coming winter. We have requested noticeboards sited at the iron bridge, cattle grid and village centre where hazard alerts and continous updates can be posted.

 

The EA have finally verbally confirmed TW breached their permit during 2013 floods as in/out flow monitoring equipment had failed and a 'permit required' storm outflow monitor had never been fitted. However, the EA will not be taking legal action as monitoring equipment has now been installed!

 

Dorney landowners made repairs to the cattle poached banks in August. Unfortunately, the EA need to investigate and test suspected asbestos cement sheet contained within the recycled builders waste used to re-build the banks.

 

The EA are meeting Eton College and Dorney landowners to discuss flooding in Northfield and maintenence responsibilities for all water courses surrounding the village. The watercourses to the North of the village are completely choked and should be 'winter ready'. The EA will enforce action should timely maintenance not be undertaken.

 

RBWM have investigated and mapped riparian boundaries for all landowners and residents. RBWM/EA are now working together on the good practice guide for the 2016 growing season and are planning a presentation including demonstrations and support solutions.

 

The EA will provide the Environmental Impact Assesment Survey carried out  during construction of the Jubilee River to assess future implications for our village/watercourses. They also confirmed Jubilee flood damage repairs were complete but are yet to confirm extent.

 

The EA will provide the current STW discharge permit and are aware of formal request to review permit in light of increased flows, current legislation and the village's unusual position next to 100% treated outflow.

 

Flood and Pollution Forum meetings will be held more regularly with interim meetings to resolve specific actions speedily. The next meeting is scheduled for 12th January 2016.

 

 

 

FLOOD FORUM UPDATE - SEPTEMBER 2015

In the Spring Newsletter we reported the Environment Agency were investigating breaches of

permit at Slough Treatment Works. Following quality concerns reported during

February/March, STW was placed under special operating conditions.

 

Numerous complaints relating to the poor quality of our streams were made to the EA

throughout April; high volume, large visible solids were noted flowing throughout for over a

week, pooling on the top and coating the banks. Thames Water advised they were working to

protect our village from a pollution incident traced to cess imports from commercial tanker

operators.

 

This was the most serious incident since the 2014 floods and sadly illustrated the

communication protocol we had requested to ensure correct parties were speedily informed

and any possible public health hazards communicated urgently, had not been actioned.

 

The second Flood and Pollution Forum meeting was held on June 18th at RBWM:

RBWM continue to work on the communication protocol. The Forum are currently

working on a graded incident procedure to tie in with the notifications. One of the

challenges remaining is to decide how to communicate effectively and speedily with

residents dependent upon the level of incident and how information can be readily

available to residents on a daily basis for entering the water/living alongside. Since the

April incident TW have communicated all incidents and planned engineering works.

 

The EA had advised a report on 2014 Spring flooding investigation and any resulting

legal action would be released in June; this update remains outstanding.

 

Flooding on Dorney Common and Northfield has been evident once again.

Investigations concluded the high water levels were due to excessive weed growth in the

channel as a result of increased nitrates from STW outflow. The EA undertook to

remove weed throughout the stream on 22/6. We have highlighted the need for

clarification of volumes flowing from STW, protection of bank habitats during works and a

work schedule planned throughout the seasons. A meeting with Dorney landowners is

proposed to discuss the ongoing cattle poaching affecting watercourse banks.

 

At the March Forum meeting the EA accepted an urgent action to produce clear

documentation providing comprehensive riparian ownership support for residents. This

action was not undertaken and RBWM are now producing a Good Practice Guide for all

landowners and stream side residents.

 

We continue to request answers to questions formally raised at the 2014 Public

Meetings. We are also researching whether an Environmental Impact Assessment

Survey was carried out to assess the future implications for our village watercourses

during the construction of the Jubilee River. We will propose an assessment is

undertaken and the TW Permit is reviewed in light of current legislation.

 

We have requested Flood and Pollution Forum meetings are held more regularly to

ensure momentum is not lost.

 

The next meeting is planned for early September.

The EA urge residents to report any flooding or watercourse pollution on the EA hotline.

Environment Agency Incident Report Line 0800 807060

RBWM Public Health 0844 967 0083.

 

 

 

FLOOD FORUM UPDATE  - APRIL 2015

 

The Public Meeting was held on 1st December in the Village Hall; RBWM, Thames Water and the

Environment Agency undertook to update on the resident action document submitted to RBWM

Cabinet on 30th October. Despite RBWM’s support many residents were disappointed by the

presentations and the EA’s failure to thoroughly investigate and clearly answer the points raised.

However, due to resident support and attendance, positive steps have been taken:

 

RBWM have formally agreed to represent residents in all matters relating to flooding and

pollution.

 

RBWM have created a working procedure encapsulating responsibilities and response

timescales for flood situations or significant discharges from STW.

 

Volumetric flow meters have been installed at Slough STW on the inflow, effluent outflow and

storm discharge routes. Data is now recorded and submitted to the EA each month.

 

The investigation into TW permit breaches during the 2014 Spring flooding continues; details to

be released once the investigation has concluded and legal action progressed.

 

EA contractors carried out maintenance on Roundmoor and Boveney Ditches on behalf of Eton

College and Dorney landowners during December. Trees and reeds were cut back and

blockages removed. The EA were unable to remove silt/reed growth due to potassium

contamination. They will continue to investigate ways to improve flows, manage removal of

controlled waste, communicate and support maintenance responsibilities.

 

Residents have monitored watercourses throughout winter noting significant improvements

(water levels continually low and water quality much improved), enabling visible changes to be

reported to the EA.

 

On 12th and 28th January solids/paper debris were noted throughout the watercourse. TW

confirmed loss of partially treated sludge blanket from their final settlement tanks, admitting

operational issues in their secondary treatment process. The EA are investigating breaches of

permit. TW procedures are under review and an action plan is being implemented.

 

The first Flood and Pollution Forum was held on 5th March with attendance from RBWM, TW,

EA, ETC, residents, Mr. Highy and Councillor Lawless. The Forum will be resident chaired and

will review all aspects of flooding and pollution from rivers and watercourses surrounding our

village. TW reported they no longer feel their remit ends at the outflow pipe from STW and

announced a proposed £5m investment for the treatment plant. The issue of water bacterial

quality was highlighted as the EA only test for environmental impact. RBWM are considering

taking responsibility for base line bacterial testing and response testing following reported

incidents. The EA accepted an urgent action to investigate and produce clear documentation

providing comprehensive riparian ownership support for residents living alongside village

watercourses.

 

The next meeting will be held in late May with meetings documented and

published on the etonwickmatters/ETC websites and in the Village Newsletter.

 

The EA urge residents to report any flooding or watercourse pollution on the EA hotline. The

frequency of reporting enables the EA to build a picture of the issues affecting our village. Should

you notice anything untoward please report to:

Environment Agency Incident Report Line 0800 807060

RBWM Public Health 0844 967 0083