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Excellent Flood Protection Allows Uninterrupted Public Service

July 14, 2018 | Created by: Andreas Klippe

Utility services sites must always be protected from flood, since people depend on these for their daily lives

Utilities are indispensable part of everyday life. People need electric supply, water services, and telecommunications to conduct their businesses and live their lives comfortably.

What if, utility services sites were suddenly damaged by a flooding incident? This disaster would mean a whole community must live under difficult conditions – a crisis.

In this success story from the United Kingdom (UK), a simple yet effective solution to flooding proved that with the right technology, people do not have to live under dire circumstances.

June and July 2007 were fateful months for UK, as heavy rainfall doused some parts of the country. The Floods, a special website dedicated to the 2007 flooding incident, said some parts of Britain were submerged in floodwater during this period due to a 78.00-millimeter rainfall in Gloucestershire.

On July 23, 2007, The Guardian reported that 350,000 homes in some parts of Britain were cut off from the community’s water supply all because of a flooding incident.

This flooding incident was caused by the overflowing of the rivers Thames and Severn. The rising of these water channels caused a flooding that reached the Severn Trent Water, a water treatment facility in UK. The shutting down of this plant affected homes, which did not receive water supply for 18 days.

Power supply in Gloucestershire were likewise cut. The Floods said the Castle Mead electricity substation was shutdown due to flooding. As a result, more than 48,000 houses were cut off from energy supply.

Government Decides to Construct Flood Protection Systems on Utility Services Facilities

These damages, which were undoubtedly of massive proportions, forced the government to provide protection to sites where utility services are housed. These are water treatment facilities and electric plants. These sites are sometimes left unmanned, so a specialized flood protection system was designed to suit them.

1. Lift-Hinged Floodgates

These flood defenses were dedicated for sites that need vehicle entrances. The floodgates were designed with a height of 4.50 meters, and were placed in plants where greater mobility for transport of materials is a requirement.

Moreover, these floodgates were intended to serve as permanent gates for selected plants. Due to their extremely durable nature, the floodgates made the plants safe from both flooding and break-in incidents.

2. RS Demountable Flood Barriers

These barriers were constructed for facility entrances that need temporary flood protection. These barriers are lightweight and are suitable for a single-person operations. These barriers enable a skeletal crew to efficiently respond to a flooding threat.

3. Pivot-Hinged Barriers

These are also called containment barriers, since they are meant to contain chemical spills. In emergency situations, when a certain facility is flooded and there is a danger of chemical contamination, a single person can close down this hydraulics-powered barrier.

4. Swing-Hinged Floodgates and Heavy-Duty Flood Doors

These two types of flood defenses were created to serve as permanent defenses to selected plants. They also serve as permanent doors which makes the plant completely impenetrable by floodwater.


Fast Facts on UK’s Government-Backed Protection against Flooding

Type of Facility Utility Services (which includes water treatment facilities and power plants)
Location United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Cause of Flooding In June and July 2007, a heavy rainfall caused massive flooding to some parts of Britain, especially in Gloucestershire. The said flooding incident was described as one of the worst in UK’s modern history.
Damage Caused by Flooding
  • The flooding reached the Severn Trent Water, a water treatment facility, which affected 350,000 homes. These homes were left without water supply for 18 days.
  • An energy plant was also affected, the Castle Mead electricity substation. When this electric provider was temporarily shut down, around 48,000 houses were left without power services.
Applied Flood Protection Since the affected facilities were major plants, the flood system applied combined various systems.

  • Lift-Hinged Floodgates
  • RS Demountable Flood Barriers
  • Pivot-Hinged Barriers
  • Swing-Hinged Floodgates
  • Heavy-Duty Flood Doors
Result of Installing Flood Protection Utility services facilities are often located outside big residential areas and are often unmanned. The installation of powerful yet lightweight defenses allowed instantaneous response to flooding threats.

As a result, public service can carry on without interruption – even in the worst rainy season.