In Case The Flood Comes

attenuation pond ed

Our small and ancient town of Much Wenlock sits in a hollow beneath Wenlock Edge. The Edge itself is an uptilted Silurian seabed, formed some 400 million years ago, and the farm fields around the town rise steeply to the Edge top. In consequence, flash flooding has long been a problem and in recent years (after the 2007 storms when the town centre was badly inundated) our locality has been designated a rapid response flood risk zone, the danger coming mostly from field run-off feeding onto roads and lanes that run into the town.

And so finally in 2017, after much humming and ha-ing, the Local Authority commissioned engineers to excavate two flood attenuation ponds at either end of the town. They are basically reverse reservoirs in that they remain empty with the aim of catching up the worst of any flood should a particularly bad rainstorm hit the Edge.

One of the ponds is at the top of Townsend Meadow, behind our house, and given the upward slope of the field, I found myself much taken with the sight of the big digger and dumper on my horizon  as the work was underway. I think I’m also happy to have the pond above our house, although the Farrell domain did not flood in 2007, and some experts have equivocal views about the utility of attenuation ponds in rapid-run-off situations. Anyway, so far so good. Besides which, the guerrilla garden behind the garden fence is on a small rise and forms something of bund to protect us.

Now for more digger views, far and near:

attenuation pond digger

attentuation pond 1 ed

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Busy with purpose

15 thoughts on “In Case The Flood Comes

  1. I’d not heard of reverse reservoirs before. Interesting. I wonder what they’ll look like for the majority of the time, when presumably they won’t be in use?

  2. Just like giant versions of the sump (with pump) that keeps our house dry. Of course, keeping it dry hasn’t been a problem recently but given the weather and all, we can easily go from dry as a bone to underwater. I hope it will work well for you lovely town.

    1. Thanks for those good wishes, Marilyn. I think they’ve kept parts of the town drier, but people who live on the High Street still have to put flood gates on their front doors when there’s heavy rain. Three roads slope down to a junction with the High Street and they turn into rivers!

    1. Thanks, Sarah. I think some experts think that they may be problem in flash-flood zones if they aren’t completely empty when there’s a downpour. In other words they might overtop and add to the flooding. Back in June-July 2007 it had rained heavily over about 5 weeks. We’ve not had a repeat of that particular weather pattern so far. Though we could do with a dose of it now.

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