SU6050 : Pumping on Chiltern Way

taken 8 years ago, near to Basingstoke, Hampshire, Great Britain

This is 1 of 2 images, with title Pumping on Chiltern Way in this square
Pumping on Chiltern Way
Pumping on Chiltern Way
On Saturday 8th February 2014 residents in Buckskin (a relatively poor area of Basingstoke) first noticed flood waters entering their homes. A later analysis of data showed that the rainfall for the previous three months had been more than double the monthly average.
The rising groundwater overwhelmed the drainage system and caused sewage to mix with the flood waters. In total more than 70 homes had to be evacuated of which 41 were owned by Sovereign Housing. The affected roads were Antrim Close, Bodmin Close, Exmoor Close, Sperrin Close, Holyrood Court and Blackdown Close.
Initially it was members of local churches and labour councillors who spent the first weekend helping the affected residents. The local Ridgeway Centre became the focal point for information and support. Families were relocated to local hotels and B&Bs this caused a lot of stress for elderly and vulnerable residents especially those with pets and young children. The local MP for the area visited Buckskin on 12th February having had to return from the Sochi Winter Olympics.
One of the most disappointing episodes was the response from Thames Water who said there was nothing they could do to help until the water levels dropped. The company went on to say Our sewer network has been overwhelmed by the ground water and pumping or tankering it away will not help, as more will continue to rise up from under the ground. We are responsible for making sure our sewer network is well maintained and running smoothly, but our remit does not extend to investigating and solving groundwater, river flooding or surface water problems.
In the end it was left to the borough council to pump out the flood waters, at an estimated cost of 300,000. Each of the large tankers could carry 25,000 litres. By the time pumping stopped on 18th March (more than a month after the first flooding) it is estimated that 77 million litres of contaminated water had been taken to the nearby Chineham sewage works. Basingstoke & Dean also provided 2000 sandbags and skips for residents to dispose of carpets and damaged furniture. After the flood waters had been removed Thames Water jet washed the paths and roads with disinfectant.
The first evacuated residents were able to return to their houses (which had not been flooded) over the weekend 22/23 March. Quite a few residents were rehoused in other areas and will not be returning.
The local councillor for Buckskin lost his seat in the local elections held in May 2014.

See other images of Buckskin Floods - Feb 2014
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SU6050, 351 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Monday, 17 February, 2014   (more nearby)
Monday, 24 February, 2014
Geographical Context
Rivers, Streams, Drainage  Roads, Road transport 
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 6050 5099 [10m precision]
WGS84: 51:15.2925N 1:8.0668W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SU 6052 5098
View Direction
West-northwest (about 292 degrees)
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