Residents in a flood-hit Leeds neighbourhood no longer have to live in fear of heavy rain following completion of a £3m project to tackle the problem.
Since September 2011, Yorkshire Water has been working with engineering specialists BarhaleWSP to install five giant storage tanks along Easterly Road, Gipton, which are capable of holding two million litres of water in times of heavy rain – equivalent to the capacity of 25,000 baths.
During heavy rain, the tanks, which are each 12m deep and 7.5m wide, will hold storm water until it is safe to be released back into the local sewer network. The aim is to ensure that sewers are not overloaded during high rainfall and at risk of backing-up and causing flooding.
Paul Almond, project manager for Yorkshire Water, said: “Flooding of any kind is an awful experience which nobody should ever have to suffer.
“Residents on Easterly Road have suffered for years from flooding, so we’re delighted to be able to make a positive difference to their lives through this project.
“Not only will the five tanks help to reduce the risk of future internal flooding, but they will also play a key role in tackling surface water build-ups on Easterly Road, which is one of the main traffic arteries serving Leeds city centre.”
Richard Wyatt, who runs W2 barbershop in the area, said: “The work could have caused major problems for us and other businesses in the area.
“However, Yorkshire Water and BarhaleWSP have continued to go the extra mile to reduce the impacts and help us whenever possible, including putting up additional signage and mentioning us in their initial radio promotions about the project.”
Between 2010 and 2015, Yorkshire Water is investing £120 million to upgrade its sewer network and treatment facilities to further reduce the risk of sewer flooding. This investment is already benefiting hundreds of customers across the region who might otherwise have been at potential risk from flooding.